Local News

KARACHI: Angry residents foiled a robbery attempt after two suspected robbers were caught and beaten up in the Korangi area of Karachi on Saturday, Dunya News reported.

According to police, the armed suspects entered a general store in Korangi and opened fire when the shop owner Ahmed resisted their attempted robbery, injuring him slightly.

However, the robbers were unable to escape as people gathered outside the shop and caught them while they fled.

The angry mob first thrashed the suspects and then doused both of them in petrol and set them on fire.

Police arrived at the scene and shifted the suspects to a nearby hospital. Their bodies were partially burnt in the incident.

This was not the first time an angry mob of citizens had chosen to take the law into their hands in the crime-ravaged metropolis.

Incidents of such vigilante justice have been on the rise since 2008, when the most recent spell of weak law and order began in the city, fueled by intensifying political rivalries and the rising influence of gangs.

In May 2008, a charged mob set two muggers on fire in North Nazimabad after they were caught fleeing from a minibus, in which they had robbed a number of passengers. After disembarking near Five Star Chowrangi, one of the robbers slipped, which gave passengers on the minibus and passerby the opportunity to pounce. The police were unable to take the robbers into custody before any serious harm was caused.

A few days before this incident, three robbers were also caught and set on fire by locals near the Timber market in Kharadar, as shown in the video below.

More recently, in 2015, after shooting a local dead during a robbery, the alleged culprit was also set on fire by a mob of angry citizens.

Often times, however, incidents of vigilante justice as not so biblical, driven as they are by spur of the moment decisions in life and death situations.

“Once, when we were coming back from the beach, we saw a suspicious group of motorcyclists looking like they were getting ready to mug us,” said Hassaan bin Shaheen, a Gulshan-i-Iqbal resident. “My friend, who was driving, ran over them and created the opportunity for us to escape.”

Experts link such extreme reactions to general perceptions of law and order in the city, Renowned psychiatrist Dr. Haroon Ahmed believes, “It is the psyche of a human being that if he’s pushed to the wall, he can react in an unexpected manner.”

“The people of Pakistan in general and this city in particular are in a state of mind where they feel insecure and under-privileged,” he adds.