Members of the Pakistani Christian community hold placards and crosses in Islamabad Nov. 5, 2014, during a demonstration to condemn the death of a Christian couple in a village in Punjab province
Faisal Mahmood—Reuters
November 7, 2014 12:54 AM EST

A Pakistani police officer killed a man with an ax on Thursday for allegedly insulting the companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Tufail Haider was beaten up by a crowd of people in the city of Gujrat, Punjab province, and then dragged to a local police station after they overheard him apparently make the disparaging remarks, Reuters reports.

Officer Faraz Naveed then took Haider into custody, but fellow officer Khurram Shehzad said he continued to speak out against the sahaba, as the Prophet’s companions are known.

“At around 5 a.m., Naveed could not control his emotions. He went into his cell, brought an ax, entered the lock-up and hit Haider’s throat several times,” said Shehzad. The attack killed the 55-year-old on the spot.

Blasphemy is a serious offense in Pakistan, and Haider’s death comes just two days after a Christian couple were lynched and beaten to death for allegedly desecrating the Quran.


More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Rishi Iyengar at

You May Also Like