Hundreds of factory workers and neighbours beat up the two suspects in the street.
Hundreds of citizens in Faisalabad severely thrashed and tortured two robbers after catching them from a factory on Saturday.
According to police officials, the accused were found in the limits of Peoples Colony police station and the robbers Kashif and Imran were seen riding on a motorcycle escaping the factory premises. Residents said that they saw the men forcefully break into a plastic factory situated near Canal Road.
“They held the workers and other staff at gunpoint and arbitrarily started looting them,” said eyewitness Bashir Muhammad.
Protesters said that the robbers had also slapped some workers when they became hesitant to empty their pockets and give the men what they had.
“They held us at gun point and were beating us,” said a factory worker Shahram. During the robbery, some of the workers resisted the robbers and began beating them with sticks. “The robbers then resorted to aerial firing but there were far too many of us and only two of them,” he said.
The factory workers and others on the street seized the robber’s arms and began hitting them with the butts of the guns. They also flogged them with sticks and bricks. “Many people from the street also joined in when they found out what had happened. There were nearly 170 people,” said factory worker Umair Sabir Bukhsh.
Police officials said that when they arrived at the scene the mob was baying for blood. “The people wanted the robbers strung up and hung. People were actually bringing rope to tie them to the roof of a shop. They planned to stone them as well,” said inspector Karimullah Khan.
Receiving information, Station House Officer (SHO) Peoples Colony rushed to the spot and asked the mob to hand over the criminals to the police but the crowd refused to do so. “They said that they themselves will prosecute and punish the robbers as the police always releases criminals after taking illegal gratification,” said an eyewitness.
Senior police officials also reached the spot and assured the infuriated mob that the criminals would not be set free and would be dealt with according of the law.
Both accused had been seriously injured and were admitted to the emergency ward of Allied Hospital, where they are undergoing treatment. Hospital doctors said that both men had suffered critical injuries.
The police recovered a revolver and a motorcycle (125) from their possession and has started an investigation.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2011.