|Sixty-year-old man lynched by vigilantes|
|Sunday, November 01, 2009
By M. Waqar Bhatti
A 60-year-old man, accused of being a homosexual, was lynched late Friday night by vigilantes in Pir Sarhandi Goth, police and eyewitnesses told The News.
The man was identified as Muhammad Hashim Jokhio, son of Meran. Jokhio was a watchman by profession, and had been married for over 25 years but had no children. The murder took place in the limits of Shah Latif police station.
According to eyewitnesses and some police officials, Jokhio was ostracised by fellow villagers for his alleged sexual preferences, and thus, he lived separately. “Late Friday night, a group of charged people raided his house, and allegedly found him ‘getting intimate’ with another man. The villagers then pounded him with clubs and rods, and killed him,” they said.
Shah Latif police were reluctant to reveal details of the events that led to the killing of the man, but confirmed that the deceased was a ‘homosexual’.
“We have learnt that the man was a homosexual, and that local people hated him for his sexual activities, but we have no evidence that he was killed by a mob,” said ASI Nawaz, an investigation officer of Shah Latif Police.
Nawaz added that the police have registered an FIR under Section 302 against unidentified individuals, and were investigating the motive and the killers.
However, a senior police official of Bin Qasim Town, on conditions of anonymity, maintained that apparently it was a case of ‘vigilante justice’ as people were enraged over the sexual behaviour of the deceased Jokhio. He said that detailed reports of the killing were awaited, and would only be revealed after complete investigation.
Details about the other individual present alongside Jokhio when he was beaten to death were not available.