Hundreds of people surrounded a chipboard factory in the city on Friday night and set the facility ablaze after reports surfaced that one employee had allegedly desecrated the Holy Quran.
“The incident took place after we arrested the head of security at the factory, Qamar Ahmed Tahir, for complaints that he ordered the burning of copies of the Holy Quran” Adnan Malik, a senior police official in the area, told AFP.
Critics including European governments say that Pakistan’s blasphemy law is prone to misuse.
“We registered a blasphemy case against Tahir, who is Ahmadi by faith, and arrested him after confiscating the burnt material, which also included copies of the Holy Quran,” Malik said.
Following the arrest, a mob reportedly descended on the factory, setting it alight.
A spokesman for the local Ahmadi community said three of its members were arrested in the incident’s wake.
“Three members of our community have been arrested by police under the charges of blasphemy,” Saleemuddin told AFP.
Military be deployed, says Interior Minister
ARY News reports further that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that the military should be deployed in Jhelum to restore calm.