Following the Youhanabad blasts in Lahore and the lynching of two men by a group of angry street protestors in the immediate aftermath, Chaudhry Nisar peeped his head out of from a window of the interior ministry’s ivory tower to declare that lynching was the worst form of terrorism, and that the perpetrators would be caught and punished. A short walk down the news cycle takes one to the November 4th lynching of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan, where a young man and woman were burned in a kiln by an entire enraged community in an act of premeditated murder involving clerics, mosque loundspeakers, false charges, the blasphemy law and general intrigue. In classic form, after the painstakingly slow reactions from the notoriously lethargic Punjab Police, the Supreme Court in a March 9th hearing, expressed shock at the lack of results and hinted at a judicial inquiry to probe police inaction. A fortnight later, and the Punjab Police has come back with a fresh Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to look into the matter, and investigate the incident. A police report says that the new head of the JIT has been asked to ensure “good quality investigations.”

However, here is the thing: how can a police institution, suspected to be in tandem with (or at least protective of) the perpetrators and one so historically fraught with corruption, be expected to investigate an incident that involves many of its own? Why is the Supreme Court only threatening to, but not actually forming a judicial inquiry into the investigations, which have so far yielded nothing in terms of real results. Perhaps the sordid art of this crime has been the involvement of the sheer number of people, with 101 currently under arrest. It becomes difficult to sort through the web of suspects to get to the actual instigators. There are layers of crime here, from the man who raised the first accusation to the policeman who didn’t fire his gun into the air to force the crowd to disperse. The Punjab police is simply not equipped to handle a case of such severity and deliver justice, especially not on its own.