Suspected robbers in Pakistan say police hacked off their hands

BAHAWALPUR Pakistan Mon Jun 2, 2014 7:39am EDT

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BAHAWALPUR Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani police chopped off the left hands of two men accused of theft after they refused to confess to stealing electrical wire and mobile phones, the victims told Reuters on Monday.

The two men, Ghulam Mustafa, 38, and Liaquat Ali, 42, said that police hacked off their hands with a large butcher's knife on Friday.

"Four or five policemen held me down and cut my hand. I fainted from the pain," Mustafa said in hospital in Bahawalpur in Punjab province.

"I and Liaquat were arrested eight days ago after local people falsely accused us of stealing and handed us over to the police who beat us and tortured us. Then on Friday, they did this."

Police disputed their version of the story, telling Reuters the men had cut their own hands with razor blades in a suicide attempt, though it was not immediately clear how they could cut their hands off.

Medical staff said the men had been brought to the hospital by two policemen about eight hours after their hands were cut off. Both had lost a lot of blood.

"This looks like the work of an axe or similar tool. These are not self-inflicted wounds," Aamir Ahmed, head of the emergency ward, told Reuters.

He said Mustafa arrived with his hand cut off completely and that one of the policemen carried it in a plastic bag.

Liaquat's hand had also been cut but was still attached to his arm, the doctor said. "We have sown Liaquat's hand back on but it will take weeks before we know if he will ever use it again," Ahmed said.

Hacking off thieves' hands is consistent with some tenets of Islamic Sharia law which often holds sway over constitutional law in parts of rural Pakistan.

The incident comes days after a pregnant woman was killed by suspected family members for marrying the man she loved in a story that has drawn condemnation from around the world.

A regional police spokeswoman, Nabeela Ghazanfar, denied the police had chopped off the hands.

"They were caught stealing and were thrashed by locals but finally rescued by police and admitted to hospital," Ghazanfar said. "Mustafa's wife and a couple of other females came to meet them at hospital and gave them food, clothes and shaving blades. They used the blades to cut their wrists."

(This story was refiled to fix typos in headline and paragraph 5)

(Writing By Mehreen Zahra-Malik; Additional reporting by Mubasher Bukhari in Lahore and Mehreen Zahra-Malik in Islamabad; Editing by Maria Golovnina and Nick Macfie)

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Comments (2)
If these men are muslim, why are they complaining?
Allah said this is the correct punishment:
“The thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent from Allah.” — Qur’an 5:38

Jun 04, 2014 11:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mmw2 wrote:
We will see if Rueters has the courage to post:

Notice how Shariah law works. There is no standard of proof, no beyond reasonable doubt, there is just the allegation. If a Muslim accuses a non-Muslim, that is usually sufficient under Shariah for the ummah to enforce it. If there is an allegation by a Muslim man against a woman, that is usually enough. Mohammad’s example in the Sunnah is the standard, and he acted on might. And, enforcing Shariah (Islamic principles) is a requirement on all Muslims – unless they want to be accused of being apostate which is punishable under Shariah law by death.

Jun 05, 2014 1:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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