Pakistan mob burns police station in attempt to grab suspect

After police refused to turn over a mentally unstable man, a mob of Pakistani Muslims burned a police station, among other things.

A mentally unstable man was in police custody in Northwestern Pakistan after desecrating the Quran. The police refused to hand the man over to the mob, insisting he be kept in custody. On Sunday night, a mob, growing angry with the police over this, burned a police station and four police posts to the ground. A video of the incident was shared on social media.

No police were hurt in the fire, but backup became necessary. Asif Khan, a local police officer, said troops were brought into the region, Charsadda, which is in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to restore order. 

Khan spoke on the incident, saying the mob wanted to lynch the man, whose identity remained undisclosed. Police were able to prevent his lynching and move him to another district. Initially, police attempted to resist the mob, but eventually fled as the mob was several thousand in number.

Khan said force was not used towards demonstrators, as police wanted to minimize the number of casualties and injuries. He claimed this was a normal incident, but that the department is seeking arrests among those involved.

The man was arrested a few days ago after he allegedly desecrated Islam’s sacred writings. Per Pakistani law, blasphemy can lead to the death penalty for offenders. However, even allegations of disrespect or blasphemy towards Islam can lead to criminal charges, if the suspect is not killed by people in their community first.




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