15th February 2022
By Ahmed Saeed and Rehan Piracha
The situation remains tense in the remote village of Tulamba of Khanewal district, where on Saturday an enraged mob lynched a mentally challenged, middle-aged man for allegedly committing blasphemy. A heavy contingent of police personnel has been deployed to the area since the incident, while senior police officials have also arrived to collect information and ascertain facts.
A sense of unease has gripped the village where the lynching took place, where businesses have closed up shop indefinitely. So far, police have managed to detain upwards of a hundred suspects, while 20 accused have been brought before the courts.
Residents near the site have padlocked their homes, while the men of the remaining houses have either been arrested or have fled, leaving behind the women and children. The schools in the village have been closed for two days, the children are still in a state of shock.
All five males of Maasi Sattan’s home, including her three sons, have been missing for the past three days. She says that prom ptly after the incident, the police raided her home, rounded up all the men and boys, and took them away.
“[The police] kicked our gate down and roughed up my sons badly before taking them away. They tore at my clothes. I am an old woman, what could I possibly hide on my person?” she decried.
There are many stories like Maasi Sattan’s. The whereabouts of the men of Tulamba remain unknown for the past few days. Many women claim that the people arrested by the police in connection with the lynching were home at the time of the incident. They say security personnel have picked up innocents rather than the real culprits.
With their men gone, Tulamba’s women say that they are running out of food and other supplies.
While police have declined to divulge any details on camera, they told Voicepk.net that no charges will be pressed against innocents, and that only those found undeniably guilty of the lynching will be brought to justice.