Pakistan PM orders probe into torture and burning of Sri Lankan over blasphemy charges
December 3, 2021 10:43 pm
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday ordered a probe into the horrific lynching of a Sri Lankan man by a Pakistani mob over alleged blasphemy accusations.
The incident took place on Wazirabad Road in Sialkot earlier in the day, where hundreds of men, enraged over the “blasphemy” incident, gathered outside the factory from adjoining areas and tortured him to death before burning his body in the public.
It is being claimed that most of them were activists and supporters of the ultra-radical Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
The deceased, Priyantha Kumara, who was in his 40s, was killed because he allegedly tore up a poster of the TLP in which Quranic verses were inscribed and threw it in the dustbin.
The horrific act drew widespread condemnation from Sri Lanka and international NGO, Amnesty International, who sought intervention from the top Pakistani leadership.
“The horrific vigilante attack on factory in Sialkot & the burning alive of Sri Lankan manager is a day of shame for Pakistan. I am overseeing the investigations & let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law. Arrests are in progress,” Khan tweeted.
In response, the Sri Lanka High Commission in Islamabad urged Pakistani authorise to ensure justice.
“Sri Lanka expects that the Pakistan authorities will take the required action to investigate and ensure justice,” Sugeeshwara Gunaratna, spokesperson of Sri Lankan foreign ministry affairs said in a statement.
Several videos were circulated on social media showing hundreds of men gathered at the site surrounding the body of the Sri Lankan national. They were chanting slogans of the TLP.
“The mob dragged the suspect (the Sri Lankan national) from the factory and severely tortured him. After he succumbed to his wounds, the mob burnt his body before police reached there,” a police official from Pakistan’s Punjab province was quoted as saying.
The horrific vigilante attack on factory in Sialkot & the burning alive of Sri Lankan manager is a day of shame for Pakistan. I am overseeing the investigations & let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law. Arrests are in progress— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 3, 2021