A teacher was murdered by a colleague and her two nieces after a relative dreamt she had insulted the Prophet Muhammed, police said.
The trio ambushed Safoora Bibi yesterday at the main gate of the all-girls religious school, according to authorities in Pakistan.
She was attacked with a knife and a stick and died after her throat was slit, they added.
The main suspect is a colleague who allegedly planned the crime with two nieces studying at the Jamia Islamia Falahul Binaat school.
Police said the girls told them a relative had dreamt the victim ‘had committed blasphemy’ against the Prophet Mohammed.
Few issues in Pakistan are as galvanising as blasphemy, and even the slightest suggestion of an insult to Islam can supercharge protests and incite lynchings.
Officers said they were also investigating if the main suspect, Umra Aman, had a personal grudge against Ms Bibi.
Yesterday’s incident took place in Dera Ismail Khan in the country’s ultra-conservative northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.
Known as madrassas, religious schools have long served as vital lifelines for millions of impoverished children in Pakistan, where social services are chronically underfunded.
But critics say students can be brainwashed by hardline clerics who prize rote learning of the Koran over core subjects such as maths and science.
Rights groups say Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often wielded to settle personal vendettas.
Last year, a Sri Lankan factory manager working in Pakistan was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob after being accused of blasphemy.
The Centre for Social Justice – an independent group advocating for the rights of minorities – says at least 84 people were accused of committing blasphemy last year, and three people were killed by lynch mobs over similar allegations.