Bank guard kills senior manager over “blasphemy” in Pakistan

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A bank security guard killed a senior manager of the state-run National Bank of Pakistan over the allegation of “blasphemy” in the country’s Punjab province, the police said on Thursday.

Malik Imran Hanif, manager of the multinational commercial bank’s Quaidabad tehsil in Khushab, was shot by the bank’s security guard Ahmed Nawaz, a retired Army personnel, on Wednesday morning.

The deceased’s family said that it was a “cold-blooded murder” by the accused over a personal grudge, claiming that the guard took the cover of blasphemy to save himself.

The manager was shifted to Lahore’s Services Hospital in a critical condition where he succumbed to his injuries on Thursday, the police said, adding that Nawaz has been arrested.

According to senior police officer Tariq Wilayat, Mr. Nawaz claimed that he opened fire at Mr. Hanif after he committed blasphemy.

“This claim cannot be verified at this stage. Police are probing the matter from all the aspects including the statement of the deceased’s family that Nawaz killed him to settle a personal grudge against him,” the officer said.

In a video posted on the social media, Mr. Nawaz can be heard saying he killed the bank manager because he had committed blasphemy.

Mr. Nawaz was seen being greeted by a crowd of supporters who also raised religious slogans and roamed in the city streets.

Later, he surrendered himself before the police.

Leaders of some religious groups addressed the mob from the rooftop of the police station where he surrendered himself.

Police officials were seen standing helplessly and no case was registered immediately.

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