HRCP condemns vigilante justice in Toba Tek Singh

LAHORE, May 10: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the killing of eight suspected robbers in Toba Tek Singh district at the hands of villagers and demands of the Punjab government to take measures to check recurrence of such incidents.

In a statement issued on Monday, HRCP said according to media reports the mob killed the suspected men by stoning them and beating them with clubs, which implies that the suspects were not armed with guns or other dangerous weapons and that it was possible to arrest them and produce them before the law-enforcement agencies. The Commission is of the view that this act of citizens beating the suspects to death is not only illegal but also inhuman. No law in the world sentences a thief to death and that too without a trial. While the vigilante justice witnessed in Toba Tek Singh the other day shows people’s frustration with the police and the justice system, it also reflects the brutalization of society. Every other day police themselves kill suspects in so-called encounters. At times, police officials have encouraged people to take law into their hands and announced rewards for anyone who kills the suspects. If this trend is allowed to continue, more and more people will kill their foes after declaring them criminals. This is a sure recipe for anarchy. HRCP calls upon the Punjab government to hold inquiry into the Toba Tek Singh incident and take measures to root out this kind of vigilante lawlessness.

Asma Jahangir


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