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ATC sends 26 suspects on 15-day physical remand in Sialkot lynching case

  • Punjab police says 131 people have been arrested in the lynching of Sri Lankan national in Sialkot
Updated 06 Dec, 2021

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujranwala sent on Monday 26 suspects involved in the lynching and burning of the body of a Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot, on 15-day physical remand, Aaj News reported.

During the hearing today, 26 suspects were presented before the ATC amid strict security. The court has ordered the suspects to be presented before it on December 21. These suspects played a central role in the lynching of Kumara.

Punjab police arrest more suspects

Earlier, the Punjab police announced on Monday the arrest of seven more of the prime suspects involved in the lynching of the Sri Lankan national. In a tweet, the police said that so far 131 suspects have been arrested in the case and will be presented before an ATC.

The police said that 26 out of these 131 suspects played a central role in the killing.

Human remains of Kumara sent off to Colombo

Meanwhile, the body of Kumara was sent off to Colombo with state honours from Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore on Monday. Special representative of Prime Minister for religious harmony Tahir Ashrafi, Punjab Minister for Human Rights Ejaz Alam Augustine and high officials of Sri Lankan High Commission were present on the occasion.

Earlier, police said that the body was shifted from Sialkot to a hospital in Lahore on Saturday night for medico-legal formalities.

“The human remains of Diyawadanage Don Nandasiri Priyantha Kumara will be dispatched to Sri Lanka on 06 December 2021 through Sri Lankan Airlines at state cost,” the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka in a press release.

PM Imran announces Tamgha-i-Shujaat for man who tried to save Priyantha Kumara

The dead body will be received by his next-of-kin at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), the handout said, adding that the foreign ministry is coordinating the matter.

PM Imran announces Tamgha-i-Shujaat for Malik Adnan

On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced Tamgha-i-Shujaat for Malik Adnan, who had tried save the Sri Lankan national from the violent mob.

“On behalf of the nation, I want to salute the moral courage and bravery of Malik Adnan who tried his utmost to shelter and save Priyantha Diyawadana from the vigilante mob in Sialkot, [including] endangering his own life by physically trying to shield victim. We will award him Tamgha-i-Shujaat,” the PM tweeted.

All those arrested to be prosecuted with full severity of law

On Saturday, PM Khan had assured Sri Lankan, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, that all those arrested will be prosecuted with the full severity of the law.

In a tweet on Saturday, the PM said that he conveyed Pakistan's anger and shame to people of Sri Lanka at vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot.

All those arrested to be prosecuted with full severity of law: PM tells Sri Lankan president

"I informed him 100+ ppl arrested & assured him they would be prosecuted with full severity of the law," PM Khan tweeted.

Sialkot incidence

On Friday, a mob of people described as “employees” of a garment factory in Sialkot had tortured and killed their Sri Lankan manager in factory premises and set his body on fire over blasphemy accusations.

Video footage that went viral on social media showed that the mob first brutally beat up the foreign national, inside the factory and then dragged his corpse on the road and set it on fire.

Talking to media, two men – Muhammad Talha and Muhammad Farhan - who introduced themselves as colleagues of Priyantha alleged that the factory workers became annoyed when the victim (operations manager) came to the factory and tore off a poster inscribed with Holy verses and dumped it into a dustbin.

Sialkot incident: Sri Lankan HC wants to have access to probe report

He further claimed that he along with other employees approached the foreman and informed him about the incident and Priyantha fled from the scene while talking on his cellphone. Meanwhile, he said, the factory worked surrounded and punished him for his “blasphemous” act.

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