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Lynch mob stones mentally ill man to death in Pakistan



An angry mob stoned a mentally ill man to death in Pakistan, authorities said on Sunday, in the latest case of blasphemy-related violence in the country.

Dozens of people have been arrested over the lynching, which occurred on Saturday night in a remote village in Punjab province, after the victim was alleged to have burned some pages of the Koran, according to Tahir Ashrafi, special representative of the Prime minister for religious affairs. harmony.

Police agencies are also monitoring hundreds of other suspects, he said.

The killing comes just over two months after a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set on fire by a mob for blasphemy in the Punjab town of Sialkot.

“Who could justify the barbaric act of stoning to death a mentally ill person?” Ashrafi told a televised news conference in the Khanewal district, where the lynching took place.

“The man’s family says he was mentally ill and in poor mental health for the past 10 to 15 years.”

“This is not the religion of my Prophet, killing people under your own interpretation of religion,” he added.

On Twitter, Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government had “zero tolerance for anyone taking justice into their own hands,” adding that “mob lynchings will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”

He said he had asked Punjab officials for a “report on the action taken against the perpetrators of the lynching…and against the police who failed in their duty”.

Few topics are as exciting in Pakistan as blasphemy, and even the slightest suggestion of an insult to Islam can intensify protests and incite lynchings.

Rights groups say accusations of blasphemy can often be used to settle personal vendettas, with minorities largely targeted.

In April 2017, an angry mob killed university student Mashal Khan when they accused him of posting blasphemous content online.

And a Christian couple was lynched and then burned in an oven in Punjab in 2014, after being falsely accused of desecrating the Koran.

Source Credit: TheGuardian

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