Pak mob burns man alive over Quran desecration

A man arrested under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law was burnt to death by a mob after over 1,000 people stormed a police station in Sita village in Sindh province on Friday.

Media reports said the man, in his 30s, was assaulted and burnt to death while several policemen looked on and did nothing to stop the mob.

Usman Memon — prayer leader of a mosque in Sita — said the man was apparently a traveller and had stayed at the mosque for a night. "He offered Isha prayers (on Thursday) and spent the night here. When (worshippers) came to the mosque for Fajr prayers (on Friday morning), we found charred copies of the Holy Quran," Memon was quoted as saying.

Villagers handed him over to the police as they suspected him behind the desecration of Quran. After the village mosques made announcements about the incident, over 1,000 people from Sita and its surrounding areas attacked the police station at 8 am Friday.

The mob overpowered policemen and assaulted the man before setting him on fire at the main chowk in Sita village, located two kilometres from the police station.

SSP Usman Ghani said 10 policemen present in the police station at the time of incident, including police station chief Baharuddin Keerio, were suspended. The 10 policemen have been charged with negligence.

Two separate FIRs have been filed against policemen and villagers. Over 200 villagers have been booked for murder and obstructing police from performing their duty. "There were more than 200 people against half a dozen policemen," said Ghulam Mustafa Tunio, police station chief. Ghani said: "We have arrested around 12 villagers."

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