LAHORE: A middle-aged man was stoned to death by a mob over alleged desecration of the Holy Quran in a remote village of Khanewal district on Saturday.

The killing comes on the heels of an identical incident in Sialkot, where a Sri Lan­kan engineer was lynched by factory workers on Dec 3 last year on blasphemy charges.

The Saturday incident took place in Jungle Dera village where hundreds of loc­als gathered after Magh­rib pra­yers following annou­n­cements that a man had torn some pages of the Holy Quran and later set them on fire.

With no one ready to listen to the suspect, who rep­orte­dly claimed innocence, the villagers first hanged him with a tree and then hit him with bricks, until he died.

According to an eyewitness, a police team which reached the village well before stoning arrested the suspect but the growing mob snatched him from the SHO’s custody. Chief Minis­ter Usman Buzdar sought a report from IGP Rao Sardar Ali Khan.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2022

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