Crazed mob reacts to alleged blasphemy
Enraged Muslim zealots tortured a Pakistani Christian couple and incinerated their bodies in a brick kiln yesterday after they were accused of burning a Koran.
According to this report, the incident took place yesterday in the town of Kot Radha Kishan in Punjab Province.
The victims, Shahzad and Shama Masih, had four children and were believed to be in their mid-20s. Both worked as labourers at a local brick kiln. The accusations against them began after burned pages of the Quran were said to have been found in their trash.
As word spread, the couple were locked up in a room adjacent to the brick kiln by their employer, Yousaf Gujjar, who allegedly was in a dispute with the couple over money.
Some accounts in local news media suggested that Gujjar accused them of blasphemy after they refused to repay money he had lent them.
Local clerics then began making incendiary announcements and urged people to take action. Hundreds of people converged on the couple’s home, and witnesses said some in the crowd broke down the door and dragged the couple out.
The police said they were tortured and then burned in the kiln.
Jawad Qamar, the local police chief, told local news media outlets:
By the time police arrived, the couple was already dead. Their bodies were totally burned
He said a criminal case had been filed against at least 460 people, and 48 people had been arrested. The police were conducting raids to detain more suspects.
Earlier this year, a woman and two of her young granddaughters were burned to death in the eastern city of Gujranwala after a member of their Ahmadi minority sect was accused of posting a “blasphemous” picture on Facebook.
A mob of roughly 1,000 people began rampaging through an Ahmadi neighborhood after being alerted to the photograph, setting houses on fire and injuring at least eight other people, according to the police.
Shahbaz Sharif, the Punjab chief minister, has formed a three-member committee to investigate the latest killings.
Also, the police have been ordered to increase security around Christian neighborhoods in Punjab.
Hat tip: M A Chohan