Key suspects confess to lynching Sri Lankan manager in Sialkot
SIALKOT – Two prime suspects have confessed to their role in the brutal lynching of a Sri Lankan worker in Sialkot, a city in the northeastern Punjab province, it emerged on Saturday.
The suspects, identified as Farhar Idress and Talha, made the confession during initial interrogation, media reports said.
A day earlier, the duo while talking to media had openly defended the vigilant attack on the foreign national, who had been working at a private factory in Sialkot for several years.
The victim, identified as Priyantha Kumara, was beaten to death and his body was burnt publicly by a mob over the allegations of blasphemy.
Earlier in the day, Punjab Inspector General Rao Sardar Ali Khan told media that over 120 suspects were detained including 13 key suspects. All have been booked under terrorism charges.
سیالکوٹ واقعہ میں پولیس نے تشدد کرنے اور اشتعال انگیزی میں ملوث ملزمان میں سے ایک مرکزی ملزم فرحان ادریس کو گرفتار کر لیا ہے۔ 100سے زائد افراد کو حراست میں لےلیا ہےآئی جی پنجاب سارے معاملہ کی خود نگرانی کر رہے ہیں باقی ملزمان کی گرفتاری کیلیے چھاپے مارے جارہے ہیں@UsmanAKBuzdar pic.twitter.com/v7YOpQxwXs— Punjab Police Official (@OfficialDPRPP) December 3, 2021
Punjab government spokesperson Hassan Khawar said that the forensic analysis of the video recordings of the incident is also being conducted. He added that the body of the victim would be handed over to Sri Lankan foreign ministry after the required processes.
As per the initial investigation report, the employees of the factory engaged in a dispute with Kumara over reportedly removal of some posters bearing the name of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Shortly after, the factory owner reached the spot and resolved the issue between them. At that time, Kumara had also apologised to the factory workers for his unintentional act.
Following his apology, the factory workers had dispersed. However, some of them provoked their co-workers colleagues to attack the Kumara.
In a short period of time, the incitement developed a mob that attacked the manager and set his body on fire after killing him on Wazirabad Road.
Police received a phone call at 11:28am about the incident, officials said, adding that the foreign national was already killed when the police party reached the spot.
The horrific incident has led to an outpouring of anger and shame in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday the killing of a Sri Lankan worker by the mob was a “day of shame for Pakistan.” The prime minister said he is personally overseeing the investigations. “Let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law,” he added.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa also condemned the incident as “shameful” and offered the military’s full support to the civil administration to ensure the culprits were arrested and brought to justice.
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