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23 people arrested for involvement in tourist's lynching in Pakistan's Swat town

Ismail was accused of having burnt the pages of Islam's holy book. Five police personnel and 11 locals were injured in the incident.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 12:22 IST

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Islamabad: Pakistan police have arrested more than 20 people for alleged involvement in the lynching of a tourist in the picturesque town of Swat for allegedly desecrating the Quran, media reports said here on Sunday.

Muhammad Ismail, a 40-year-old resident of Sialkot in Punjab province, was gunned down by an enraged mob which dragged him through the town and later hanged him in full public view in Madyan tehsil of Swat district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Thursday.

The mob had also set the Madyan police station ablaze.

Ismail was accused of having burnt the pages of Islam's holy book. Five police personnel and 11 locals were injured in the incident.

Police arrested 23 people for alleged involvement in Ismail's lynching and the arson attack on the Madyan police station, Geo News reported.

Those arrested were shifted to an undisclosed location while efforts were underway to arrest others involved in the incident, police said.

Members of the mob had been identified, and "efforts for their arrest are underway,” the report said, quoting Swat District Police Officer (DPO) Syed Zaman Shah.

He said that two first information reports (FIR) had also been registered under the charges of blasphemy and damaging state property, respectively.

He added that the suspect was reportedly a drug addict and had been booked in a case of domestic violence on his mother's complaint.

On Saturday, Pakistan’s Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal condemned the lynching, lamenting how religion is being weaponised to justify “street justice” and “vigilantism.” “We must take notice of this incident as our nation is on the brink. We have now reached a point where we are using religion to justify mob violence and street justice, flagrantly violating the Constitution, the law and the state,” Iqbal said.

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Published 23 June 2024, 12:22 IST

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