Lahore: Four main accused in the gruesome killing of a Pakistani Christian couple in Punjab province for allegedly desecrating the Koran were on Monday remanded in police custody for another nine days by an anti-terrorism court here.
ATC Lahore Judge Haroon Latif accepted the prosecution's plea and extended the remand of the four accused - Muhammad Yousuf Gujjar (brick kiln owner), Ghulam Hasan, Muhammad Haris and Muhimd Jatt - for further interrogation till November 19.
They will be produced before the court on November 19.
The court had earlier sent them to four-day custody.
A frenzied Muslim mob of 1,500 people burnt alive a 35-year-old bonded labourer, Shahzad Masih, and his pregnant wife Siama by throwing them in a brick kiln where they worked after severely beating them for allegedly desecrating the Koran on November 4 in Kot Radha Kishan in Kasur district, some 50 kms from Lahore.
The horrific killing of the couple sparked protests across Pakistan by Christians and outrage among rights activists.
Police had booked 600 people under murder, terrorism and other charges and arrested 50 accused.
The ATC had sent 46 accused to jail on judicial custody and remanded four in police custody for interrogation.
Meanwhile, the victims' family has filed a petition in a district and session's court, pleading to make them complainant in the case. Police is the complainant of the case.
Blasphemy charges are punishable by death in the Muslim-majority Pakistan, but are often used to persecute minorities in the country.
Last year in March, an enraged Muslim mob had torched over 100 houses of Christians in Joseph Colony at Badami Bagh in Lahore following an allegation that a Christian man committed blasphemy. But none of the accused has been convicted so far.