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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Mob lynches man, sets fire to police station over alleged desecration of Holy Quran in Swat

At least eight people were injured in incident, says DPO Zahid Ullah
A still from social media videos show mob gathered outside the police station which was torched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat on June 20, 2024. Screengrab via social media
A still from social media videos show mob gathered outside the police station which was torched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat on June 20, 2024. Screengrab via social media

A mob lynched a local tourist and set his body on fire over allegations of desecration the Holy Quran in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat on Thursday night, a police officer said.

The man was arrested and brought to the Madyan police station which was later stormed by the mob, according to police and locals residents.

“We had moved the alleged accused to the police station,” Dr Zahid Ullah, the Swat DPO, told Aaj News. “The enraged public attacked the police station and took the accused away.”

Videos of the incident went viral on social media, with some social media users claiming that hundreds of people gathered outside the police station. They claimed that some people got injured when the police and locals exchanged fire.

Some individuals had made announcements in the marketplace that a person had desecrated the Quran in the valley’s Madyan area, locals told Aaj News on the condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

A group of people then got hold of the accused and handed him over to the police. Later, announcements were made from mosques and a mob rushed to the police station, dragged the suspect from custody, and killed him.

The mob then set the police station on fire, as well as a police mobile van, completely destroying the station and the vehicle. The police personnel managed to escape from the station. Additional police forces have been summoned to control the situation.

The alleged accused has been identified as a resident of Sialkot, Punjab, who was staying at a hotel in Madyan as a tourist.

Locals added that announcements were made not only from mosques but also through loudspeakers in the marketplace.

“The investigation into the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran is under way,” the DPO said and confirmed that the mob set the police station and a patrolling vehicle on fire.

At least eight people were also injured in the incident, Zahid said and confirmed the death of the blasphemy accused.

A heavy police contingent has been deployed in the town as the situation was “still tense and we are trying to bring it under control,” he said.

Last month, a mob protested and attacked multiple houses, broke windows, and set household belongings on fire in Punjab’s Sargodha over allegations of Quran desecration.

A week later, a Christian man, who was severely injured in the attack, died at a hospital in Rawalpindi.

In December 2021, a mob in Sialkot tortured a man to death before burning his body over allegations of blasphemy.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Swat

holy quran

desecration of Quran