Police in Karachi detained 27 employees of a mobile phone company in Saddar on Friday following a violent protest by a mob over alleged blasphemy.

A spokesperson for the South police in a statement said that the SHO of Preedy police station received information around 11am that a "WiFi device" had been installed at the Star City Mall which allegedly played comments against the Holy Prophet's (PBUH) companions.

Witnesses at the site told Dawn.com that protesters, who had gathered at the site, damaged signboards at the mall, resulting in the closure of the mobile phone market.

"Realising the gravity of the matter, the Preedy SHO rushed to the spot, got the device shut, and seized it," according to the statement, adding that 27 employees of a private company were also detained.

The spokesperson said an inquiry committee led by the Saddar SP has been constituted to investigate the matter and if anyone was found involved in blasphemy against the companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), strict legal action would be taken against them.

Meanwhile, South SSP, Asad Raza, told Dawn.com that the police were trying to ascertain, with the help of the Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) CyberCrime Wing, who was responsible for installing the device.

"27 men [from] Samsung office have been detained and inquiry is underway," he added.

For its part, Samsung Pakistan issued a statement saying the company maintained neutrality on religious sentiments.

"Samsung Electronics has reiterated its firm stance that it endeavours to maintain objectivity on all matters of religious significance ... with reference to the recent developments in Karachi, Samsung Electronics stands firm on its stance that the company has the utmost respect for all religious sentiments and beliefs and holds the religion of Islam in utmost respect."

The company also said that it has "immediately" started internal investigations into the matter.

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