Communal tension and protests have erupted in Pakistan's Quetta city after a mob, most of them believed to be from Shia Hazara community, allegedly lynched a Pushtun youth and severely injured his two friends. The capital city of the restive Baluchistan province remained tense and partially shut down on Sunday after the brutal lynching of the youth named Bilal Khan at a hair dresser's shop in Hazara town area on Friday night.
The gruesome incident was filmed on mobile phones and the footage was shared on social media, triggering protest. Police have arrested 12 people in connection with the lynching which is said to have occurred over a monetary dispute while another version is that the three youths, who belonged to Pushtun community, had filmed some women of the Hazara community on their mobile phones.
The video footage shared on social media showed the three youths lying on the ground beaten and partially naked and people screaming and running from the hairdresser shop. The footage purportedly showed police rushing to the scene and turning a blind eye to some people escaping from the scene. The incident triggered tension in Quetta and a large number of people gathered, demanding arrest of the culprits.
The protestors chanted slogans against the murderers and marched on roads with the body of the lynched youth. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal suspended three police officers of the area over their failure to disperse the mob. Communal tensions between the Hazara community and Pushtun speaking people in the province have emerged in the past as well and government officials said the latest incident was being used by some people to stoke more fire and trouble between the two communities. The Hazara community has been the target of several terror attacks in recent years.