Rights activists demand govt put an end to vigilante justice

Rights activists demand govt put an end to vigilante justice

A group of rights activists in Karachi held a demonstration on Saturday to protest against the shameful Sialkot incident, in which a Sri Lankan factory manager was lynched and his body was burnt on flimsy allegations of committing religious sacrilege. They demanded the state to play its role in ending vigilante justice.

The Joint Action Committee, an alliance of rights groups in Karachi, held the protest outside the Karachi Press Club. A large number of members of various rights, civil society, minority and labour groups participated in the demonstration. They also carried placards condemning the lynching and religious extremism.

The Aurat Foundation’s Mahnaz Rehman, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Uzma Noorani, Pastor Ghazala Shafiq, the Urban Resource Centre’s Zahid Farooq, the National Trade Union Federation’s Nasir Mansoor and noted women’s rights activist Anis Haroon were prominent among the protesters.

They said the Sialkot incident is a barbaric act and against the teachings of humanity. They demanded a transparent inquiry into the incident and holding the perpetrators accountable.

They also expressed concerns over the sharp rise in blasphemy and mob violence cases in recent months, saying that the government should devise a comprehensive strategy and take firm action against mob violence and vigilantism without succumbing to pressure from religious parties. They said people are lynched, or shot or stoned to death, or mobs attack entire communities, localities or worship places merely on allegations of blasphemy, with most of the culprits going scot-free.

Such horrific incidents of mob violence and vigilantism indicate the frustration of society, and have forced the marginalised and weak segments of society, such as religious minorities, to live in fear, they added.

The protesters also appealed to the CJP to take suo motu notice of the incident, demanding the government to implement the judgement penned by Justice Qazi Faez Isa in the Faizabad sit-in suo motu case. They also demanded the government to abandon its policy of appeasing extremist groups.

Published in The News By Staff Reporter 05 December 2021

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