Hundreds of Hazara reportedly attacked three Pashtun men after accusing them of harassing a woman
Police on Saturday morning arrested 11 suspects over their role in an assault on three men in Quetta’s Hazara Town the previous night that left one man dead and two others hospitalized in critical condition.
According to police in Balochistan, the suspects were taken into custody after being identified with the help of video footage of the incident currently circulating on social media.
According to local media, Bilal Khan Noorzai, 23, was declared dead on arrival, while his friends are currently admitted to Civil Hospital Quetta in critical condition.
While it is still unclear how the situation escalated to mob violence—with some eyewitnesses claiming hundreds of men had been involved in the attack—footage seen by Newsweek shows one of the suspects confronting victim Bilal over recording a video of, and harassing, a local Hazara woman.
A police team can also been seen in additional footage, with some officials trying to halt the mob violence. However, this reportedly angered the crowd even more, prompting them to start throwing stones at the policemen, leaving two personnel injured.
The Balochistan Home Department on Saturday issued a notification suspending the relevant Station House Office, the duty officer and three other personnel over “irresponsibility, laxity, misconduct, and sheer negligence.”
The family of the deceased on Saturday staged a protest on Quetta’s Kirani Road, demanding justice. Noorzai’s father had demanded that police officials responsible be suspended for failing to fulfill their duties, and all the men involved in the attack be taken into custody. Reportedly, several of the attackers are now on the run, making it difficult to locate and arrest them.
Responding to the lynching, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove directed relevant institutions to submit an inquiry into the case. “No one is above the law and we won’t allow anyone to challenge the writ of the state,” he said and offered condolences to the grieving family.