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Pakistan: Communal tensions in Balochistan as a mob of 400 lynch a man to death, protests erupt across Quetta



Protests erupt in Balochistan's Quetta after a man was lynched to death in Hazara Town area

Family members of the victim demanding justice in Quetta/ Image Source: Balochistan Express

Large scale protests and communal tension have erupted in Balochistan’s capital Quetta city after a mob of 400, most of them believed to be from Shia Hazara community, brutally lynched a Pashtun youth and severely injured his two friends.

According to the reports, a young man named Bilal Khan was lynched at a hair dresser’s shop in Hazara town area of Quetta on Friday night. Two other men, Nayaz and Khalil have been severely injured after a mob attacked the three in the city.

Reportedly, the horrific incident was filmed on mobile phones and the footage was shared on social media, triggering massive protest in the Baloch capital. Following the incident, the city of Quetta remains tense and partially shut down on Sunday.

The locals of the city alleged that the mob tortured three youths in the presence of police.

The video of the incident, which has now gone viral on social media, showed the three youths partially were naked and lying on the ground, attacked by the mob. The footage also showed that police rushing to the scene but deliberately chose to turn a blind eye while some accused escaped from the spot.

“All three boys were taken by the mob of around 400 people and were shifted to the shop of a hair-dresser where they were tortured, resulting in the death of Bilal and injuries to two others,” a police official said.

Protests against mob lynching of Pasthun youth

The gruesome incident has triggered tensions in Quetta and a large number of people, joined the family demanding the arrest of the culprits.

Reportedly, the protestors chanted slogans against the mob and marched on roads with the body of the deceased. The family, joined by a large of people gathered at the red zone of Quetta’s Zarghoon Road and staged a sit-in.

“We demand immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the murder of Khan and beating Khalil and Nayaz. The protest would continue till the arrest,” said Khan’s uncle while talking to media during the sit-in.

Meanwhile, the station house officer (SHO) of Brewery Road, a sub-inspector and three constables have been suspended for their failure to disperse the mob.

“The provincial government has initiated an investigation and the injured would be transferred to Karachi for better treatment,” Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal said on Twitter.

The Quetta police have arrested 12 people in connection with the lynching of Bilal Khan. Reportedly, the lynching incident is said to have occurred over a monetary dispute. However, others stated that the three youths, who belonged to the Pashtun community, had filmed some women of the Hazara community on their mobile phones, which led to the attack on them.

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