Culprits behind lynching of Sri Lankan national won't be spared, assures PM Imran

Dunya News

Culprits behind lynching of Sri Lankan nation won't be spared

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday once again assured that the culprits behind lynching of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara won’t be spared.

He said this while addressing a condolence reference in honour of the Sri Lankan national Priyantha Diyawadana Kumara at Prime Minister’s Office. The prime minister said that the government would not spare anyone found using the religion and resorting to violence in the name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from now on.

Imran Khan expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased Priyanth Kumara and the Sri Lankan government.

The PM said, “Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent by God Almighty as a blessing for the whole world, adding that the Holy Prophet brought an ideological revolution and united the humanity and the message of the Last Prophet was based on humanity and justice.

Regretting the lynching of the Sri Lankan national in Sialkot, he said the incident brought embarrassment to the entire nation and dented its image. He said the way horrific incident of Army Public School united the whole nation against terrorism, now we have also decided that Sialkot like despicable incidents will not be allowed in future.

He said the business community of Sialkot has collected $100,000 to be provided to the bereaved family of Priyantha Diyawadana, adding that the bereaved family will also continue to receive the monthly salary.

PM Imran Khan presented Malik Adnan – the man who put his life at risk to save the life of the Sri Lankan national – with letter of appreciation.

He appreciated the courage of Malik Adnan and said that Adnan will also be conferred with Tamgha-e-Shujaat.

Federal Ministers for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Hamada Zahir, Umar Ayub, Shirin Mazari and Ali Muhammad Khan, Special Assistants Allama Tahir-ul-Ashrafi and Usman Dar, Malik Adnan, who tried to save Sri Lankan citizens from the mob, and Sri Lankan High Commissioner also attended the function.

PM Imran’s assurance

On Saturday, Prime Imran Khan had assured the Sri Lankan President that strict action would be taken in accordance with the law against the culprits involved in the Sialkot tragedy.

In his tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote that he had a telephonic conversation with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and conveyed nation s anger and shame over vigilante killing of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot.

The prime minister said he informed the Sri Lankan President about more than 100 arrests made in connection with the killing and assured him that responsible elements involved in the incident would be prosecuted with full severity of law.

Sri Lankan President, PM express concern

On the other hand, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed “deep concern” and “shock” over the fatal attack on a Sri Lankan working in Pakistan’s Punjab province and expressed confidence that PM Imran Khan would bring perpetrators to justice.

President Gotabaya, who is currently attending the Indian Ocean Conference in Abu Dhabi, said in a tweet: “Deeply concerned by the incident in Sialkot #Pakistan. #SriLanka trusts that PM @ImranKhanPTI and the Gvt. of Pakistan will ensure justice is served and ensure the safety of the remaining Sri Lankan workers in Pakistan,” a day after a violent mob lynched a Sri Lankan national, before burning his body, over alleged blasphemy.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Twitter: “Shocking to see the brutal and fatal attack on Priyantha Diyawadana by extremist mobs in #Pakistan. My heart goes out to his wife and family. #SriLanka and her people are confident that PM @ImranKhanPTI will keep to his commitment to bring all those involved to justice.

In a tweet on Friday on what he called a “horrific vigilante attack”, PM Khan said it was a “day of shame” for Pakistan. Those responsible would be punished with “the full severity of the law”, he said.

Earlier on Saturday, Sri Lanka’s Parliament also condemned the incident, and urged Islamabad to ensure the safety of other Sri Lankan workers residing in Pakistan.

Top civilian award

PM Imran Khan had announced a top civilian award for a man who risked his life while trying to save Priyantha Diyawadana, a Sri Lankan factory manager, from being lynched by an angry mob over blasphemy allegations.

Malik Adnan, a colleague of the slain Sri Lankan citizen, will be awarded Tamgha-i-Shujaat, or the  Medal of Bravery  for "endangering his own life by physically trying to shield the victim," Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Twitter on Sunday.

Videos circulating on social media showed Adnan physically shielding the Sri Lankan in an attempt to save him from the vigilante mob.

He, however, had to give in as the mob comprising hundreds of charged protesters overpowered him.

Time bombs in society

Federal Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry in a series of tweets said that "time bombs that we planted in society will continue to explode if not defused".

Fawad condemned the Sialkot incident and slammed the apathy towards such incidents and warned that it will lead to a bigger tragedy.

"I’ve been thinking what to write to condemn the Sialkot incident since yesterday, words have become useless. Such incidents only affect us for 48 hours, after which everything returns to normal.”

"Until the next such incident occurs, our conscience remains buried; this apathy is an indication of a bigger storm. Blood has been spilled in the countries due to people’s dead conscience," he remarked.

130 Arrested 

Meanwhile, Up to 130 people had been arrested in Pakistan after a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob who accused him of blasphemy, Punjab Inspector-General Rao Sardar Ali Khan said.

The IG said that during the last 24 hours, police have conducted raids in over 200 areas of the city and arrested nearly 130 men.

The spokesperson of Punjab revealed that the police have obtained CCTV footage of the attack from 160 cameras installed at the site.

He said that the post-mortem of the victim has been conducted and Prime Minister Imran Khan and CM Usman Buzdar are overseeing the investigations themselves.

Detailing the sequence of the events that led to the incident, IG Rao said that the DPO of Sialkot reached the site 17 minutes after the first complaint.

Postmortem Report

According to the postmortem report, the incident was reported to the police at 11:26 am. A sticker regarding religion was placed on a machine in factory which, the manager directed to remove in the wake of foreigners’ visit, the report stated.

Allegedly, the workers didn’t act on the order due to which, the manager came forward and remove it by himself. The factory owners and administration fled the scene after lynching the Sri Lankan manager, the report mentioned.

On the other hand, the postmortem report of Priyantha Kumara showed that most of his body was burnt while his bones were also broken due to severe torture.

The Incident

On Friday, a mob in Sialkot tortured a Sri Lankan national to death and then burnt his body. The incident occurred on Sialkot’s Wazirabad Road, where workers of private factories attacked the export manager of a factory and burnt his body over alleged blasphemy.

Police had been sent to the area to bring the situation under control. Sialkot district police officer Umar Saeed Malik said the man was a Sri Lankan national.

"After successful talks with the angry group of protesters, traffic was resumed on the road," the police official said.