Law and justice were trampled once again in Pakistan on Tuesday when an enraged mob of fanatics burned a man alive after giving him public torture in the Punjab province because he was allegedly responsible for committing desecration of Koran- the holy book of the Muslims.
The incident occurred in Chanighot, Bahawalpur, as reported a by Pakistani paper The Express Tribune. This man, reportedly mentally deranged, tore pages from a copy of Koran and threw them around in a public place, an act that is considered outrageous and blasphemous by Muslims to the extent of being punishable by death. And this penalty is supposed to be decided in the court of law. However, as is common in Pakistan, the mob mentality did not give the man any chance to see a trial. What is still shocking is that the police had the man in their lockup when the enraged mob of fanatics invaded them, broke their custody of the accused, and dragged him to a public square where he was set on fire – alive!
Not only did the police fail in protecting the life of the person to be brought to justice via the court but the electronic media in Pakistan didn’t highlight the issue while all channels kept talking about the recnt doctors’ strike in Punjab and Pakistan’s politics most of their time. This is not the first time that electronic media in Pakistan is shrinking from highlighting a human rights violation as grave as the Tuesday tragedy. In some previous cases like this, Pakistani media has chosen not to call mob justice a human rights violation; in fact not at all to talk about it.
It is not far in the past when the government in this province distributed laptops among students. The recent incident of futile security at police station resulting directly in a man’s murder by fanatics speaks of the desperate need for the administration to put priorities before assumptions – excess of spending on education in this country has only brought waste of money and more frustrated, incompetent graduates. The competence of security in Pakistan is near minimum and that is why crime rages across the country, particularly in the Punjab province and in Karachi and some other parts of Sindh. This incident in Bahawalpur is one among several reported each year where mobs take law in their own hands and no one can stop them. It is about time that the government take notice!