Officials confirmed up to 120 people were arrested after a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob who accused him of blasphemy on Friday. 

"Police experts are investigating this case from various angles, including that some factory workers played a religious card to take revenge on the manager," stated Tahir Ashrafi, a religious scholar and special representative of the prime minister on religious harmony. According to some workers, the manager was "very strict."

The police spokesman Khurram Shahzad stated that up to 120 people, including one of the main suspects, were arrested. 

Several horrific video clips were posted on social media showing a mob beating the victim while chanting slogans against blasphemy on Friday. In other shared clips, he was seen being set ablaze, as well as the overturned wreckage of what was said to be his car was also captured. People in the mob did not attempt to hide or disguise their identity. Some even took selfies in front of the burning corpse.

Malik Naseem Awan, a resident and lawyer in Sialkot,  in central Punjab province about 200 km (125 miles) southeast of Islamabad, where the attack happened, shared to  Agence France-Press (AFP) news agency the worrying effect it would bring to the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan called it a "day of shame for Pakistan."

Civil society members, on Saturday, held a protest in the port city of Karachi against the lynching of the Sri Lankan national. The protesters condemned the killing and demanded the government do something and take measures to stop the misuse of the blasphemy law.

Human rights activist Mehnaz Rehman firmly stated that the factory manager was killed on false charges. "The people who killed him were people who didn't want to work and he just asked them to work honestly so they killed him on the pretext of blasphemy. This law is being abused by such people," she said. According to rights groups, blasphemy accusations can often be wielded to settle personal vendettas, with minorities largely the target.

A senior Pakistan official told AFP that Islamabad had been in touch with Sri Lankan diplomats over the incident. They assured them that all involved would be brought to justice. 

Nilushi Dissanayake the wife of Sri Lankan factory manager holds her husband's graduation photograph Nilushi Dissanayake the wife of Sri Lankan factory manager who was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob in Pakistan, holds her husband's graduation photograph at her residence in Ganemulla near Colombo on December 5, 2021. Photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP via Getty Images