Punjab police on Monday have arrested six more suspects involved in the lynching of a man who had been accused of blasphemy in Khanewal.
The arrests come a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the lynching and demanded a report from the provincial police.
With the fresh detentions, the number of suspects in custody has climbed up to 21. The Punjab police said in a statement that a total of 102 people have been arrested so far and are being questioned for their alleged involvement in the incident.
The spokesperson for the police said that the six suspects were seen in a video provoking the mob along with torturing the victim. He said the prime suspects had been charged with terrorism and heinous crimes according to the first information report.
The police said that more suspects were being identified and arrested with the aid of available evidence and footage.
Meanwhile, Special Representative to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi said in a press conference that the victim was not mentally well.
Ashrafi said the victim had been suffering from mental illness for nearly 15 years and urged the chief justice of Pakistan to conduct speedy trials of blasphemy cases.
Prime Minister Imran Khan stated on Sunday that the government had “zero tolerance” for those who took the law into their hands.
The premier on Sunday, while reacting to an incident of lynching in Khanewal’s Mian Channu, stated on Twitter that incidents of mob lynching would be dealt with “full severity of law”.
The prime minister further said that he had sought a report on action taken against the perpetrators of the incident and also against the police personnel who failed in their duty.
We have zero tolerance for anyone taking the law into their own hands & mob lynchings will be dealt with full severity of the law. Have asked Punjab IG for report on action taken against perpetrators of the lynching in MIan Channu & against the police who failed in their duty.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 13, 2022