On Tuesday, as word spread, the couple were locked up in a room adjacent to the brick kiln by their employer, Yousaf Gujjar, who also had a running dispute with the couple over money. Some accounts in local news media suggested that Mr. Gujjar accused them of blasphemy after they refused to repay money he had lent them.
Meanwhile, local clerics made incendiary announcements and urged people to gather. Hundreds of people converged on the couple’s home, and witnesses said some in the crowd broke down the door and dragged the couple out. The police said they were tortured and then burned in the kiln.
“By the time police arrived, the couple was already dead,” Jawad Qamar, the local police chief, told local news media outlets. “Their bodies were totally burned.” He said a criminal case had been filed against at least 460 people, and 48 people had been arrested. The police were conducting raids to detain more suspects.