International

Irate mob torches Pak. factory alleging blasphemy

An angry mob surrounded a factory in Jhelum district on Friday after announcements were made on loudspeakers in nearby mosques that a factory employee had allegedly desecrated the Koran. The mob torched the factory after its demand to the factory administration to hand him over was turned down.

An angry mob surrounded a factory in Jhelum district on Friday after announcements were made on loudspeakers in nearby mosques that a factory employee had allegedly desecrated the Koran. The mob torched the factory after its demand to the factory administration to hand him over was turned down.  

An enraged mob set on fire a factory and a place of worship owned by Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi community after one of its members was accused of blasphemy in Punjab province.

The mob torched the factory in Jhelum district on Friday night. Paramilitary Rangers were called in to control the law and order situation on Saturday after an Ahmadi place of worship was also burnt down.

Spokesman of the Ahmadi community in Punjab, Aamir Mahmood, told PTI that around 2,000 people gathered outside the factory after announcements were made on loudspeakers in nearby mosques that a factory employee had allegedly desecrated the Koran. He said the mob surrounded the factory and demanded the factory administration hand over the employee.

“The mob torched the factory when its demand was not met. Thank God none of the employees were burnt alive,” he said.

Case filed against employee

Police reached the spot and dispersed the mob on assurance that it had registered a case against the employee identified as Tahir, also an Ahmadi, and arrested him.

But Mr. Mahmood said the police were not acting on his complaint that some clerics had incited the people to burn the factory.

Jhelum district official Mujhaid Akbar Khan said a case has been registered against the factory employee for allegedly desecrating the Koran.

“We have controlled the situation and are negotiating with the area people,” Khan said.

1.5 million Ahmadis

Pakistan’s Ahmadis consider themselves Muslim but were declared as non-Muslims by the Constitution and are also barred from proselytising or identifying themselves as Muslims. Some 1.5 million Ahmadis live across the country.

Rights groups say that Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law has often led to violence and persecution of religious minorities. It is often misused to make unfounded accusations to settle personal scores and disputes.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 4:05:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/irate-mob-torches-pak-factory-alleging-blasphemy/article7904028.ece

Next Story