‘He is mentally deranged’: Mob torches police station in Pakistan over ‘blasphemy’, hundreds booked

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Officials in Pakistan registered a case against hundreds of suspects for attacking and setting a police station on fire in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda district a day earlier.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the case has been registered against 30 named suspects and between 300 to 400 unnamed suspects.

The case has been registered under sections 324 (attempted murder), 353 (assault or act to deter a public servant from discharge his duty), 345 (wrongful confinement), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc.), 427 (damage to property), 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code along with Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act.,

Meanwhile, a police official told Dawn that almost 30 people had been arrested so far.

The situation in the area remained tense on Monday. Local leaders and elders also held talked with the protesters and appealed to them to remain peaceful and avoid rioting and clashing with police personnel.

On Sunday, a mob had attacked and set on fire a police station in Charsadda, demanding that authorities hand over a man arrested for allegedly desecrating 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 the district’s Tangi tehsil.

A mob later gathered outside the police station and demanded that officials hand over the man to them. When police denied their demand, the mob, which had grown to a sizeable number by late evening, grew agitated and attacked the police station and set it on fire.

They also vandalised the vehicles parked in the police station, according to the minister.

Mandani circle DSP Ishaq told Dawn that the person who had allegedly torched the Holy Quran was apparently mentally deranged, adding that he was immediately taken into custody and shifted to an unknown location. “Apparently, the accused is mentally unstable and he cannot speak,” the police officer said.

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