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Pakistan: Mob lynches tourist, burns him alive in Swat over blasphemy allegations

Representative Image (Photo: ANI)

A mob brutally lynched a man in the Swat region of Pakistan accusing him of desecration of the Holy Book inside the Madyan police station, Dawn reported.

The victim, a tourist from Sialkot, was burned alive by an enraged crowd on Thursday as per a purported video of the incident that has been circulated on social media.

Some individuals in a local market announced that a man had committed blasphemy after which a crowd of people nabbed the man and handed him over to the police, reported Dawn.

However, shortly after, announcements were made from mosques in Madyan, a well-known tourist destination in Swat, inciting further anger and mobilizing people towards the police station.

Witnesses reported that the mob demanded the police hand over the suspect and when the police refused, the mob forced their way into the station.

Police officers fled to save themselves, and reinforcements were called in to manage the escalating law and order situation, the Pakistan based newspaper said.

The Swat District Police Officer (DPO) was cited as saying, “People set fire to the police station and a police vehicle. The man was burnt alive.”

Taha Siddiqui, a Pakistani journalist living in exile, shared the footage on X, commenting, “In this video now viral on social media, a Pakistani man can be seen burnt alive by a mob in #Swat Valley over #blasphemy allegations. The larger mob surrounding the body can be seen using cameras with flashlight to film the lynching. Welcome to #Pakistan – the Islamic republic.”

Barrister Sidra Qayyum also posted on X, highlighting the severity of the situation, “In Swat Pakistan, the body of a tourist from Sialkot was killed and burnt later on the charge of blasphemy, and burning of the Holy Quran. The mob attacks police station and took over the accused. The situation is tense in the area and two people are reported injured in the market from police sources.”

The identity of the suspect has yet to be confirmed, but media reports suggest he was a tourist staying at a local hotel.

This tragic event marks the second instance of lynching over blasphemy allegations in recent weeks. Last month, a man was killed in Sargodha under similar accusations.

The incident underscores the volatile nature of blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, often leading to mob violence and tragic loss of life.

The situation remains tense in Swat as authorities work to restore order and investigate the incident.