Up to 120 people have been arrested following the killing of a factory manager accused of blasphemy on Friday and investigations are continuing, the official said.
Dozens of people have been arrested in Pakistan following the beating to death of a Sri Lankan factory manager by a mob.
Several horrific video clips shared on social media showed a mob beating up a victim while chanting slogans against blasphemy on Friday. Other clips showed his body burned, as well as the wreckage of what was said to be his car.
Many in the mob made no attempt to hide their identities, and some even took selfies in front of the burning corpse.
On Saturday, police spokesman Khurram Shazad said up to 120 people had been arrested, including one of the key suspects, and investigations were still ongoing.
“The case is being investigated by police experts from various angles, including that some factory workers played a religious card in retaliation against the manager,” said Tahir Ashrafi, a religious scholar and prime minister’s special envoy for religious reconciliation who confirmed the arrest. The manager said some workers said he was “too strict”.
Malik Naseem Awan, a lawyer living in Sialkot in the central Punjab province about 200 km (125 miles) southeast of the attacking capital Islamabad, told the AFP news agency that he was concerned about the consequences of the attack. Image of the country.
“I can not say how embarrassed I am. It would have been different if someone had done this individually, but the people there were watching it quietly and no one was trying to save him,” he said.
The attack has sparked outrage, with Prime Minister Imran Khan saying “this is a disgraceful day for Pakistan”.
The brutal attack on the factory in Sialkot and the incident in which the Sri Lankan manager was burnt alive was a disgrace to Pakistan. I am overseeing the investigations and making no mistake, all those responsible will be punished with the utmost severity of the law. Arrests are ongoing
– Imran Khan (mImranKhanPTI) December 3, 2021
A senior Pakistani official told AFP that Islamabad had been in touch with Sri Lankan diplomats over the incident and had “assured them that all those involved in the heinous crime would be brought to justice.”
Some problems in Pakistan provoke like slander, and even the slightest suggestion of insulting Islam will provoke protests and provoke killings.
Rights groups say blasphemy allegations can often be used to settle personal retaliation, often targeting minorities.
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