Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday to convey the nation’s “anger and shame” to the vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot.
The Sri Lankan national was tortured to death in the Punjab town yesterday. An angry mob of hundreds also set the body of foreign national on fire after lynching him over blasphemy allegations.
A police official, who arrived at the scene of the incident, told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity that the deceased was the operational manager at the factory for the past seven years.
He said the Sri Lankan national was accused by the factory workers of “tearing down Durood Sharif”. Rumours then started circulating across the factory area and a mob started gathering in the morning, he said, adding that police were informed about the incident much later at around 12:15pm.
“Spoke to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today in UAE to convey our nation’s anger & shame to people of Sri Lanka at vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot,” the premier wrote on his official Twitter handle today.
Spoke to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today in UAE to convey our nation’s anger & shame to people of Sri Lanka at vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot. I informed him 100+ ppl arrested & assured him they would be prosecuted with full severity of the law
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 4, 2021
PM Imran said that he informed the Sri Lankan president that over a hundred people have been arrested so far in connection with the heinous murder, assuring him that they would be prosecuted with full severity of the law.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, taking to Twitter, has said that he also spoke to his Sri Lankan counterpart Gamini Lakshman Peiris and expressed deep grief and condolences over the tragic incident.
“The Pakistan leadership will ensure all perpetrators will be brought to justice swiftly,” he added.
Spoke to my brother FM Gamini Lakshman Peiris of #SriLanka
and expressed my deep grief and condolences. The Pakistan leadership will ensure all perpetrators will be brought to justice swiftly.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) December 4, 2021
Earlier today, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he was shocked to see the brutal and fatal attack on Priyantha by extremist mob in Pakistan.
“My heart goes out to his wife and family. SriLanka and her people are confident that PM Imran Khan will keep to his commitment to bring all those involved to justice,” he added.
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.
— Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) December 4, 2021
Progress made so far
Earlier today, police arrested a prime suspect and booked at least 800 others under the Anti-Terrorism Act a day after the brutal incident. The police said Farhan Idrees, the key suspect, has been detained.
They said hundreds of people armed with sticks and batons were present inside the factory at the time of the murder of the foreign national.
After the murder, the mob dragged his body on the streets, the police said, adding that it failed to stop the crowd due to a lack of strength.
As per the initial investigation, the police said that the Sri Lanka citizen was killed over allegations of blasphemy. They added that they were investigating the matter from all angles.
Meanwhile, an initial report of the incident has been submitted to Prime Minister Imran by the Punjab Police. As per the report, at least 112 suspects have been detained who were identified with the help of the factory managers. The provocateurs have been arrested as well.
Lynched over ‘blasphemy’
The nation was shell-shocked and disgusted on Friday when a Sri Lankan national was brutally lynched and his body was set on fire by a mob in Sialkot. The sickening incident outraged the nation as the civil and military leaders denounced it as “horrific” “shameful” and “extra-judicial vigilantism”.
The gut-wrenching incident took place on Sialkot’s Wazirabad Road, where workers of private factories brutally lynched the Sri Lankan national.
Several gruesome video clips shared on social media showed a mob beating the victim while chanting slogans against blasphemy. Other clips showed his body set ablaze, as well as the overturned wreckage of what was said to be his car.
Many in the mob made no attempt to hide their identity and some took selfies in front of the burning corpse. The police claimed that the grisly incident took place inside the factory premises and there was no way of knowing about it before that time.