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Pakistan: A Man Burnt Alive for Blasphemy

A Man Burnt Alive

by Xavier Patras William
July 5, 2012

WARNING: Article contains graphic images.

A man accused of Blasphemy was extra judicially killed outside a police station.

An unknown man was burnt alive outside a police station in Chani Ghoth area of Bahawalpur in Punjab Province.

DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) Ahmedpur Bahawalpur District said, " The Chani Goth police station received a complaint that a person has burnt the pages of the Quran, the police arrested the person and brought him to the police station and put him in the lock up, some religious leaders announced on the loud speakers that a man has committed blasphemy against Islam. A huge mob gathered outside the police station and they demanded to hand over the person who had committed blasphemy. They even blocked the main highway and with in a few moments the mob broke the gates of the police station and attacked the police officers on duty, injured the SHO (Station House Officer) Ghulam Mohudin Gajjar along with my 4 guards. I also sustained a few injuries during the attack. Our 14-15 police officers were injured and are admitted in the hospital."

He further said, "Before we could know the details about the person who was arrested, the mob broke the lockup and took out the prisoner, threw petrol on him and burnt him alive. They also torched the police vehicles in the police station, this continued for over 2 hours. The mob stood there until the man completely burnt."

The police was only able to tell that the man was mentally unstable, although his identity was unclear, but his mental condition is also unclear as the police has failed to identify him and failed to protect him. DSP Naveed said, "We have registered the FIR about the incident and will arrest the culprits soon. We are thankful to Allah that no policeman was killed in the attack."

The body has been sent for autopsy and are awaiting the result to know the identity of the person killed. So far no one came forward to claim the body of the deceased.

This incident has raised the fears of extra judicial killing for the blasphemy accused in the jails The blood has been shed in the name of religion, the former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer was assassinated by his own body guard for taking a stand for Asia Bibi the Christian woman accused of Blasphemy. She also fears for her life after this incident.

Life for All Pakistan has strongly condemned the incident. "Religion should be kept separate from the state affairs, burning a man alive is a inhuman act, the police has failed to take action against the people responsible. The law was abused by the mob; there is no justification for this barbaric act. The authorities must act and take action against the lawlessness. No one is above the law, there is no justification in killing a human being, it was for the judicial system to decide weather the person is guilty or not. Its time to put an end of the law of the jungle or we will end up in insanity Laws are made to protect men from other men, not to protect God from humans. We urge the Chief Justice to take notice of the incident and take action against the people involved in the incident. The CJ must ensure the rule of the law in the Country."

According to the legal experts, the act is condemnable and raises fingers at the police, when a person is arrest or in the lockup, he is entirely the responsibility of the police station, the SHO and the other staff are equally responsible for the person who was burnt alive, the police was unable to control the mob. An inquiry must be initiated against the police officials and a FIR should be registered for the murder of a person who is still unclear who he was and weather he had committed the crime or not, legally he was innocent until he would have been declared guilty by the court. Only such actions can ensure the rule of the law in the country, the police should he held accountable.

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