Islamabad : A man arrested under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law was burnt to death by a mob after over 1,000 people stormed a police station in a village in Sindh province.

The shocking incident of vigilantism occurred in Sita village of Dadu district yesterday, media reports said today.

The unidentified man in his thirties was assaulted and burnt to death while several policemen looked on and did nothing to stop the mob, th reports said.

Usman Memon, the prayer leader of a mosque at Sita village, told the media that the man, who was lynched by the mob, was apparently a traveller and had stayed at the mosque for a night.

 “He offered Isha prayers (on Thursday) and spent the night here. When (worshippers) came to the mosque for Fajr prayers (on Friday morning), we found charred copies of the Holy Quran,” Memon was quoted as saying. People suspected the man was responsible for the act since he was alone in the mosque.

They handed him over to police and filed an FIR against him. After the village mosques made announcements about the incident, over 1,000 people from Sita village and its surrounding areas attacked the police station at 8 am. The mob overpowered policemen and assaulted the man before setting him on fire at the main chowk in Sita village, located two kilometres from the police station.

Senior Superintendent of Police Usman Ghani said 10 policemen present in the police station at the time of incident, including police station chief Baharuddin Keerio, were suspended.

The 10 policemen have been charged with negligence.   Meanwhile, police in Sindh province have arrested around 40 people in connection with the gory incident.

The district police officer of Dadu district, Usman Ghani said that soon after the incident police had carried out raids in different parts of the district and in villages and arrested some 40 people. “We are still searching for other suspects involved in this incident,” he said.

The situation in Sita village remained out of control for several hours after announcements were made from mosques in the village about the desecration of the holy book.

It took the police several hours to reach the area and shift the body to the health centre situated on Sita Road, where a post-mortem examination was conducted.

Ghani added that while a FIR had been registered against unknown persons for burning the Quran, anotehr one was also registered against 1,000 persons who attacked the police station. —PTI

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