Sialkot lynching: Sri Lanka expects Pakistan to take required action for justice

ISLAMABAD: Sri Lanka’s Parliament and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday condemned the brutal lynching of a national of the country in Pakistan and hoped that Prime Minister Imran Khan will keep his commitment to bring all those involved to justice.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said he was shocked by the brutal attack. “My heart goes out to his wife and family. Sri Lanka and her people are confident that PM Imran Khan will keep to his commitment to bring all those involved to justice,” he tweeted.

Priyantha Kumara was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob on Friday, police confirmed, in an incident that Prime Minister Imran Khan has described as a “day of shame” for Pakistan. A police chief Armagan Gondal told media that factory workers had accused the victim of desecrating posters bearing the name of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Sri Lankan foreign minister said on Twitter it had “received reports of an incident of torture & burning of body of a Sri Lankan in Sialkot, Pakistan.” “The Sri Lanka High Commission in Islamabad is in the process of verifying the details of the incident from the Pakistan authorities,” the tweet said.

“SriLanka expects that the Pakistan authorities will take required action to investigate and ensure justice. We are awaiting results of further investigations and working with all parties concerned to bring the remains home.”

Police in the Pakistani province of Punjab said they had arrested at least a hundred suspects, including the “main accused,” in the lynching case. “In Sialkot incident, police have arrested Farhan Idrees, one of the main accused involved in torture and incitement,” Punjab police said on Twitter. “More than 100 people have been arrested,” police added, saying the inspector general of Punjab police was supervising the case.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had spoken to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa “to convey our nation’s anger and shame to people of Sri Lanka at the vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot”. “I informed him that over 100 people [have been] arrested and assured him they would be prosecuted with full severity of the law,” the premier tweeted.

On Friday, Prime Minister Imran had called the incident a “horrific vigilante attack”, adding that it was a day of shame for Pakistan. “I am overseeing the investigations and let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law. Arrests are in progress,” he had tweeted.

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