Swat lynching: Police arrest 23, JIT formed to unearth truth

Swat lynching: Police arrest 23, JIT formed to unearth truth


Efforts underway to capture other accused

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SWAT/PESHAWAR (Dunya News/Web Desk) – Police have arrested 23 persons and shifted them to some undisclosed location for interrogation over the charges of set a person on fire and torching a police station over the blasphemy accusations, just days after the gruesome murder shocked entire Pakistan.

The police say raids are being conducted to arrest the other accused involved in the incident which occurred in Madyan – a picturesque town and tehsil headquarter in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It is located 50 kilometres north of Mingora – the main city of Swat, which third largest in the province.

The local police have registered two FIRs in connection with the episode: one covers those who attacked the Madyan Police Station and murdered the person who is nominated in the second one over the blasphemy charges.


The government has notified formation of joint investigation team (JIT) to unearth the facts related to the incident. It comprises nine-member and is headed by the SP investigation.

On Saturday, a report prepared by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which had described shifting the accused to the police station as the biggest mistake after his arrest from a local hotel where he was staying.

It added that the area SHO neither sought guidance from the local top officials nor ensured the safety of the accused by transporting him to some undisclosed place.

The police kept him in detention for 40 minutes, during which he refuted the claims of committing blasphemy, reads the report.

It mentions that the hotel management earlier asked the accused to open the door of his room and he had denied the charges there too. Later, the policemen picked him up and shifted to the police station.

Earlier, the authorities began an investigation to identify and arrest members of a mob that killed the local tourist accused of blasphemy, after they ransacked the police station, where he was kept in protective custody.

A mob beat the man to death on Thursday night after accusing him of burning pages of the Quran. They set the police station and injured eight policemen, Malakand Division's regional police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur told Reuters.

"After initially rescuing the man from a crowd, the police took him to the station in Madyan, but announcements from mosque loud speakers asked locals to come out," Gandapur said, after which the mob stormed the station.

Graphic videos of the latest incident showed a frenzied mob dragging a naked and bloodied body through the streets, and then setting it on fire. The footage went viral on social media and sparked outcry amongst Pakistani users.

Gandapur said the situation was under control and a case registered against the organisers of the mob. He added the man had been visiting the Swat Valley, a popular tourist destination, for Eid-al-Azha holidays.