KARACHI: Police on Friday booked and arrested the manager of a cellular company in Saddar following a violent protest by an angry mob, allegedly over some ‘blasphemous’ material.

As many as 15 suspects were also taken into custody for their alleged involvement in violence.

According to South police spokesperson, the Preedy SHO received an information that a Wifi device had been installed at a mobile shop at Star City Mall where some ‘adverse remarks’ were being passed against religious personalities.

In the meantime, a large number of people gathered there and started a protest. The people damaged signboards of the company. Because of their protest the mobile market was closed down while traffic police closed Aga Khan-III Road to traffic.

“Police reached the scene, got the device shut and took into custody 27 staff members of the private company,” said the police spokesperson.

Later in the evening, the police arrested the manager of the cellular company and registered a case against him under Sections 298-A (use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code and 25-D of the Telegraph Act on the complaint of a shopkeeper.

The remaining 26 persons were released.

South-SSP, Asad Raza said that police got information that a certain office premises belonging to a private cell phone company based at the Star City Mall was running a wifi device allegedly containing derogatory remarks about the religious personalities.

“The police immediately arrested the main culprit and took into protective custody all the 26 members of the staff and shifted them to a safe place and sealed the office,” he said, adding that the move prevented agitators from ransacking the office and harming lives of the staff working there.

“The police also arrested 15 persons who burn tyres and tried to vandalise billboards,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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