[QODLink]
Asia

Pakistan police criticised after mob killing

Mutilation and killing of man suspected of burning the Quran raise questions over police's ability to protect detainees.
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2013 17:54
The report contains images some viewers may find disturbing

Pakistani police is facing criticism after a man in custody was killed by a mob of vigilantes in Sindh province last month for allegedly desecrating the Quran.

The man was dragged out of his prison cell while still in custody at a police station in Sita village. He was then dropped from the second floor of a building before his body was set alight.

People had invited the man, who looked like a traveller, to spend the night in the local mosque. They said worshippers arriving to pray in the morning found he had burnt pages of the Quran and that they saw him as he was trying to burn more.

Seven police officials have been suspended for being unable to protect the man. The officers say the lynch mob overpowered them after storming the police station.

Fayyaz Leghari, inspector general of Sindh police, told Al Jazeera that 400-500 men had attacked the police station.

"People from this village and surrounding villages got together and amassed outside the police station and subsequently attacked it," he said.
 
"There were only 6-7 policeman available at that time, due to the low rate of crime in the small village."

Police also told Al Jazeera that 37 civilians had been arrested over the attack.

Similar attacks

There have been similar cases of vigilante justice on people accused of blasphemy in other parts of Pakistan.

In July last year, 2,000 men forced their way into a police station in south Punjab and burned a homeless and mentally disabled man to death.

In June, mobs attacked police stations in Quetta and Karachi and tried to kill men accused of blasphemy.

In 2011, a 34-year-old merchant who had been legally cleared of blasphemy allegations was shot dead in Rawalpindi.

Leading human rights activists have condemned the attacks and the continued failure of authorities to bring people to justice.

Zahid Hussain, a journalist and author in Islamabad, blamed the increase in vigilante attacks on "the collapse of our judicial and law enforcement systems as well as a rise in extremism".

"There is hardly any training for police and they are not recruited on merit. Instead they are used for political purpose," he told Al Jazeera.

"Hardline clerics are also misusing the blasphemy law. We have seen many instances where just on accusation, just on suspicion,  people have been killed. Even in some cases, those people who have been acquitted by the court were shot down."

398

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.