Pak police detain 27 workers of mobile firm after stir over blasphemy

Pakistan police on Friday detained 27 employees of a mobile phone company after a violent protest by a mob at a mall in Karachi over alleged blasphemy.

The protests erupted after a “WiFi device” installed at the Star City Mall allegedly played blasphemous comments.

The protesters, who had gathered at the site, damaged signboards at the mall.

“Realising the gravity of the matter, the Preedy SHO rushed to the spot, got the device shut, and seized it,” according to the police statement.

The police detained 27 employees of Samsung, which had provided the device.

“Twenty-seven men from the Samsung office have been detained and an inquiry is underway,” the police said.

A poice official said that they are trying to ascertain, with the help of the Federal Investigation Agency’s CyberCrime Wing, who was responsible for installing the device.

Meanwhile, Samsung Pakistan in a statement said that 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,” it said.

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

Blasphemy is considered as highly sensitive issue in Pakistan and those accused of it become easy victims of extremists groups. Last year, a Sri Lankan national working in a factory was lynched by the workers over the allegations of blasphemy.

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