A video showing a crowd beating up a man and then setting him on fire is going viral on social media.
Who shared it?: Along with social media users, Major Surendra Poonia, who has made false claims is the past as well, also shared the same claim.
(Due to the graphic nature of the video, we have refrained from adding any links to the viral posts.)
What is the truth?: On 11 February, the man – accused of blasphemy – was killed by a mob in Pakistan's Punjab.
The person was identified as Waris Ali and Zafar Saeed, Station House Officer (SHO) of the Nankana Sahib Police Station, confirmed that Ali belonged to the Muslim community.
According to news reports, people tried to kill Ali citing sacrilege of the Quran, but the police took custody of him. However, a mob later stormed the police station, took hold of him and killed him.
News reports on the incident: A news report published by a Pakistani media organisation Dawn on 12 February carried a statement from the Sheikhupura Regional Police Officer (RPO) Babar Saeed.
He told the daily that Ali was acquitted by a court in a blasphemy case in June 2022 and was again accused of “desecrating the Holy Quran”.
The RPO added that Ali was then captured by locals on the morning of 11 February 2023.
Following this, the police interfered and took Ali into custody, but the crowd stormed the police station and later killed the man.
The report added that the victim's wife had filed for divorce and the couple was separated. The victim was allegedly "indulging in witchcraft by placing his wife's picture in the Holy Quran."
A report by The Guardian also specified that the victim was a Muslim man from Pakistan.
Statements from a local reporter: We reached out to Faiz Paracha from Islamabad for more details.
He told us that two complaints were filed in Nankana Sahib – one against Ali and the other against the mob that killed him.
Paracha shared a copy of the FIR which was registered against Ali. The FIR mentioned the full name of the accused as Waris Ali and his father's name as Isa, a resident of Kazi Colony, Warburton from the Khokhar caste.
Faiz spoke to SHO Zafar Saeed of the concerned police station who confirmed that the man who was killed by the mob was a Muslim.
Faiz also informed us that Saeed had replaced the earlier SHO on 15 February as he was suspended after not being able to save Ali from the mob.
The SHO also added that the FIR against the mob has been sealed and they are waiting for the instructions of our higher officials regarding the matter.
Talking about the postmortem report of Ali, the SHO said that several injuries have been reported.
Conclusion: The person who was killed in Pakistan's Nankana Sahib was not a Christian, but a Muslim.