Mob sets fire to police station in Pakistan after mentally challenged man burns page with Quranic verse

An enraged mob of Islamic fanatics set fire to a police station in Charsadda in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after police refused to hand over for mob justice a mentally ill man who had burnt a page with a Quranic verse inscribed on it, local media reports was quoted by UNI news agency

Nov 29, 2021
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Mob sets fire to police station in Pakistan(Photo: Dawn)

An enraged mob of Islamic fanatics set fire to a police station in Charsadda in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after police refused to hand over for mob justice a mentally ill man who had burnt a page with a Quranic verse inscribed on it, local media reports was quoted by UNI news agency. The 5,000-strong mob attacked and set fire to the Mandani police station in Charsadda district on Sunday night, demanding that police hand over the mentally ill man arrested for alleged desecration of the Holy Quran.

KP Law Minister Fazal Shakoor Khan, who hails from Charsadda, told Dawn.com that police had arrested a man for allegedly desecrating the Quran on Sunday and shifted him to the Mandani police station in Tangi tehsil. A mob later gathered outside the Mandani police station and demanded that officials hand over the man to them. When police refused to do so, the mob, which had grown to a sizeable number by late evening, attacked the police station and set it on fire. They also vandalised and set on fire vehicles parked in the police station, according to the minister.

He told Dawn.com that police managed to shift the arrested person to a safe location. "The government will not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands," he said. "The suspect who has been arrested will be proceeded against in accordance with the law."

The minister added that the situation was still tense in the area. While the police have not divulged details of the arrested person, several social media accounts said the person was mentally challenged.

Rights activist Kashif Chaudhry, in a tweet, said the Charsadda police station was set on fire by a “Sunni extremist mob demanding mentally ill man accused of alleged “blasphemy” (allegedly burning a page with a Quranic verse inscribed on it) be handed over for mob lynching. Madness!! “

He tweeted later to say that three more check posts have been attacked and police vehicles have been burned down.
Peshawar Division Commissioner Riaz Mehsud told Dawn that around 4,000-5,000 people had ransacked the police station and a police post in their pursuit for "mob justice".

Following the attack, the mob staged a sit-in. Mehsud said the administration had finally controlled the situation with the help of local religious elders, and got the mob to disperse.

Eyewitnesses said the police had used tear-gas shelling and aerial firing to disperse the mob. Another police official said that the police station had been completely destroyed.

The mob also attacked and set ablaze a police check post and also blocked the road for traffic, a police official told Dawn.com.

(SAM)