Last year, when a youth from the Indian city of Bangalore shared a Facebook post against Prophet Mohammed, a mob similarly attacked a police station and burnt down public property

A mob tried to lynch a person accused of blasphemy in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad on Monday night.

Pakistan daily The Dawn reported that dozens of villagers wielding batons and iron rods attacked Gloria police station, demanding the accused be handed over to them.

The police had brought the accused to the police station and kept him locked, but the mob managed to enter the station and launch an attack.

To protect the police from the mob, officers from counterterrorism department, anti-terrorist squad and anti-riot unit had to arrive and intervene. The mob was resisted using teargas shelling and baton-charging, the Dawn report says.

The accused has since been shifted to an undisclosed location. Neither the Dawn or any other news report has revealed the identity of the accused.

In Pakistan, a nation carved out for Indian Muslims in 1947, at least 52 people facing blasphemy charges have been extra-judicially killed since 1992.

While Indian laws make ‘deliberately hurting religious sentiments’ a crime punishable by law under 295A, Pakistani laws additionally make derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammed a crime under 295C. Since 1991, this crime of blasphemy is punishable in Pakistan by death.

However, the FIR copy in the Islamabad case circulating on social media suggests the accused was not booked under 295C but under 295A, 298A (derogatory remarks against holy personages) and 298B (misuse of titles reversed for holy personages) among other charges.

In India, demands for a special law against blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed have been on a steady rise.

Massive protest rallies taken out in various states of India such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir in March and April raised the demand through slogans and memorandums to state governments.

In a protest staged by Aligarh Muslim University students in the first week of April, student leader Farhan Zuberi said that if India can have a special law against slaughter of cows, it should have a special law for comments against Prophet Mohammed as well. Last year, Zuberi sparked outrage when he said that anybody insulting Islam should be beheaded.

Earlier this week, the Delhi police said they have uncovered a plot to assassinate Ghaziabad resident and priest of a private temple Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati who had criticised Prophet Mohammed at a gathering in Delhi’s Press Club in February. The police have arrested a person named Jan Mohammed Dar, who they say was given the task to kill Narasinghanand for blasphemy.

Last year, when a youth from Bangalore, Naveen, shared a Facebook post against Mohammed, a mob rioted in the city, burning down public and private property. Months later, a massive rally was carried out in Bhopal against the youth with ‘sar tan se juda’ slogans.

In 2019, Uttar Pradesh resident Kamlesh Tiwari was killed by a group of fanatics for ‘blasphemous’ comments made in 2015. Tiwari’s was said to be the first killing in India over blasphemy since independence.