Pak cleric among 5 given death for burning Christian couple

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A cleric was among five persons who were today handed down death penalty by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan for burning alive a Christian couple after accusing them of committing blasphemy here in 2014.

Lahore anti-terrorism court Judge Chaudhry Muhammad Azam delivered the verdict after the prosecution presented all witnesses.

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He gave death sentence to five suspects including a cleric and also imposed a fine of Rs 200,000 on each for lynching the couple. Eight other suspects were sentenced to two years in prison.

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According to the charge-sheet, the suspects gathered a mob by making announcements from mosques that a young Christian couple – Shahzad and Shama – committed blasphemy in Kot Radha Kishan area of Kasur district, some 50 kms from here, in November 2014.

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Some 600 Muslims led by area clerics reached the brick kiln were the couple worked as labourers and dragged them out of the room after breaking into it.

They first tortured them and then threw them in the furnace in the kiln. No one from the crowd listened to the couple who were pleading that they were innocent.

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It was all ashes and some bones of the couple which was left to bury after the gory incident.

The couple had three children and Shama was pregnant.

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