A charged mob lynched a Muslim man over alleged blasphemy during a political gathering in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mardan district on Saturday evening, according to multiple reports.
In a video posted online, several people can be seen beating the lifeless body of the man, believed to be in his 40s, in the Sawal Dher area of Mardan district.
The man, identified as Deobandi cleric Maulana Nigar Alam, was accused of telling the crowd at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally that he respects Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan like a prophet, as he is an honest man. However, it has now transpired that Maulana Nigar Alam made this reference to another local Mardan politician Saeed Khattak, who is also alleged to be his relative but such rumours have yet to be confirmed.
The alleged statement angered the rally participants and they attacked Alam. Some reports purport that police arrived to push the crowd back, but as they were holding negotiations with some elders, the people attacked the man and wrested him away from law enforcement, to exact a brutal punishment on him that is now etched in the national consciousness of Pakistan, along with many other mob lynchings and extrajudicial murders of alleged blasphemers.
Meanwhile, reports are also suggesting that prior to the incident, some clerics belonging to the Deobandi school of thought had demanded that a case be filed against Maulana Nigar Alam on the charges of blasphemy.
It has been suggested that the incident was instigated by the kind of public provocation where religious sentiments of the Pakistani masses are riled up on the sensitive issue of blasphemy, which led to the brutal mob killing of this man as well.
Just a few months ago in February this year, a blasphemy accused in Nankana Sahib was forcibly taken out of the police station by an angry mob of people and tortured to death.
The unfortunate incident took place in Warburton area, where the accused, a Muslim male, was detained by police on charges of ‘blasphemy’ and ‘witchcraft’ by using pictures of his ex-wife. He was also accused of burning pages of the Holy Quran. He had recently been freed after spending two years in jail.
The mob attacked the police station where the accused was locked up, while the SHO of the police station and other employees of law enforcement escaped for their lives. Sources say the crowd dragged the accused out of the lockup, and tortured him to death before setting his body ablaze.