Man killed by mob in Swat’s Madyan over alleged Quran desecration: DPO

Published June 20, 2024
Visuals of unrest in Swat’s Madyan on Thursday night. — screengrab
Visuals of unrest in Swat’s Madyan on Thursday night. — screengrab
Visuals of unrest in Swat’s Madyan on Thursday night. — screengrab
Visuals of unrest in Swat’s Madyan on Thursday night. — screengrab

A man was killed by a mob over alleged desecration of the Holy Quran in the Madyan area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat district on Thursday night, police said.

Eight people were injured in the unrest, according to Swat District Police Officer (DPO) Dr Zahidullah Khan.

He said the police had moved the suspect of the alleged desecration incident to the police station but a charged mob “attacked the police station and took the suspect away”.

“People set fire to the police station and a mobile vehicle,” the DPO said, adding that the suspect was “torched”. More details are awaited while an investigation is underway.

Videos making the rounds on social media show a mob circling a body on fire in the middle of the road as well as people gathered in huge numbers outside a police station. Dawn.com’s correspondent has reached out to the police for confirmation of the footage.

DPO Khan said a heavy police force was deployed in Madyan and was trying to control the tense situation.

Madyan is one of the famous tourist spots of Swat Valley apart from Kalam, Bahrain and other sites. It is around 245 kilometres from the provincial capital of Peshawar.

A statement posted by the PTI said KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur took notice of the “unfortunate” incident and contacted the provincial police chief on the matter.

Summoning a report, he ordered the police chief to take measures on an emergency basis to control the situation. Expressing regret over the incident, the chief minister appealed to the people to remain peaceful.

“And the madness continues … We are hellbent to commit suicide as a society,” rued former information minister Fawad Chaudhry.

Fuelled by an extremist religious worldview, violence against non-Muslims in Pakistan has escalated rapidly ever since Gen Ziaul Haq made blasphemy punishable by death. Between 1927 and 1986, only 14 incidents of blasphemy were reported in what is now Pakistan. But after the changes were made in the law, the number surged quickly.

At least 2,120 persons are reported to have been accused of committing blasphemy between 1987 and 2022.

Last month, police saved a Christian man from enraged people in Sargodha on allegations of desecration of the Holy Quran, who died nine days later from his injuries.

In 2022, a middle-aged man was stoned to death by a mob over alleged desecration in a remote village of Khanewal district.

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