Sri Lankan citizen burned alive: A day of Sham for Pakistan, says Prime Minister Imran Khan

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Pakistan Provence of Panjab In Sialkot city, a violent mob lynches the Sri Lankan factory manager after the accusations of blasphemy. Priyantha Kumara was initially tortured and then burned alive on Friday December 3, 2021. Sources claim that Priyantha Kumara was pushing the workers to do their job honestly so people were angry, meanwhile Priyantha Kumara was also alleged to have torn-off a few stickers which have some religious significance. The Punjab government’s preliminary investigation report says that some employees were dissatisfied with the factory manager due to his discipline and pushing them to work hard.

While speaking to Eat News Provincial Law minister Raja Basharat said “Preliminary investigation report of Sialkot incident has been submitted to the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar. Army intelligence was already assisting law enforcement agencies in investigating the Sialkot incident. Apart from Pakistan’s military intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), members of the Military and Civilian Intelligence Bureaus are also part of the investigation team.”

According to initial reports, more than 100 people have been detained so far, most of them protesters, while others who were present at the scene have also been detained.

In the light of the initial statements of the detainees, raids are being carried out to arrest those who provoked the mob to torture the Sri Lankan citizen.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his tweet said “It is a day of shame for Pakistan. All civil and military intelligence agencies are working jointly to apprehend the culprits. More than 100 people are behind bars in connection with brutal activity.”

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Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javaid Bajwa has strongly condemned the incident and said it is a shameful act; any extra judicial killing is not acceptable at all. According to Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR), COAS General Qamar Javaid Bajwa said that the Pakistan army will support civilian administration to bring the culprits to court of justice.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his tweet said “shocking to see the brutal and fatal attack on Priyantha Kumara by extremist mob in Pakistan. My heart goes out to his wife and family. Sri Lanka and her people are confident that Prime Minister Imran Khan will keep to his commitment and to bring all involved to justice.”

During the telephonic conversation with Eat News Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab Rao Sardar Ali Khan said, “out of 118 arrested accused involved in the Sialkot incident, 13 are main accused involved in the incidents. All the main culprits have been identified.” He said, “Footage from 160 cameras related to the incident has been taken and 10 teams have been formed for the arrests while the case has been registered under Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA). Concerned Regional Police Officers (RPOs) and District Police Officers (DPOs) were monitoring the raids 24 hours a day. Punjab government’s initial investigation report has revealed the situation. During investigation it has been disclosed that a delegation of foreign companies were expected to visit the factory. The Sri Lankan factory manager ordered complete cleaning of the machines and asked them to remove religious stickers from the machines. The report stated that when the factory employees did not remove the sticker, the manager himself removed it. It was the turning point which presumably evoked the few factory workers.

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Preliminary investigation report said 112 suspects, including the main accused, have been arrested so far. People who provoked the mob have also been arrested. According to the report the police shifted the main accused to an unknown location after arrest so that further investigation could be carried out. The members of civil society and local people have lit the candle lights in the memory of Priyantha Kumara and said that Islam is the religion of peace. It never allows such ruthless, inhuman and cruel actions which provokes the violence in the society.

Dead body of Priyantha Kumara was dispatched to Sri Lanka on Monday, December 6, 2021 from Lahore airport.

Allam Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, PM special representative for religious harmony, while speaking to media at Lahore airport said, “We all are here on the instructions of Prime Minister to dispatch the body of Priyantha Kumara”.

When his body was sent back to Sri Lanka from Lahore Airport, his coffin was wrapped in a white sheet with yellow and white flowers on it.

Moreover, the European Union (EU) also showed their concerns on the human rights situation, freedom of speech and press, missing person issue, and violent incidents in Pakistan. It is also said in the EU statement that obstacles and barriers to access to justice are not acceptable at all.

Different segments of society have shown their deep concerns over this tragic incident of Sialkot. Whole nation and government is sad about this horrifying accident. Civil society is demanding more clarification on the blasphemy issue because it is increasing intolerance in the country and will work as a catalyst to defame Pakistan.

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Muhammad Farhan Niazi is a correspondent for Eat News in Pakistan and is an experienced senior producer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in feature and news writing, non-linear editing, radio, multimedia journalism, Online journalism, film production, and sound. Strong media and communication professional graduated from University of Peshawar.


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