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Sialkot incident: PM Imran khan assures Sri Lankan president of justice


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ISLAMABAD:– Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday assured the Sri Lankan President that strict action would be taken in accordance with the law against the culprits involved in the Sialkot tragedy.

In his latest tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote that he had a telephonic conversation with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and conveyed nation s anger and shame over vigilante killing of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot.

The Prime Minister said he informed the Sri Lankan President about more than 100 arrests made in connection with the killing and assured him that responsible elements involved in the incident would be prosecuted with full severity of law.

Sri Lankan President, PM express concern

On the other hand, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed “deep concern” and “shock” over the fatal attack on a Sri Lankan working in Pakistan’s Punjab province and expressed confidence that PM Imran Khan would bring perpetrators to justice.

President Gotabaya, who is currently attending the Indian Ocean Conference in Abu Dhabi, said in a tweet: “Deeply concerned by the incident in Sialkot #Pakistan. #SriLanka trusts that PM @ImranKhanPTI and the Gvt. of Pakistan will ensure justice is served and ensure the safety of the remaining Sri Lankan workers in Pakistan,” a day after a violent mob lynched a Sri Lankan national, before burning his body, over alleged blasphemy.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Twitter: “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.

In a tweet on Friday on what he called a “horrific vigilante attack”, PM Khan said it was a “day of shame” for Pakistan. Those responsible would be punished with “the full severity of the law”, he said.

Earlier on Saturday, Sri Lanka’s Parliament also condemned the incident, and urged Islamabad to ensure the safety of other Sri Lankan workers residing in Pakistan.

118 Arrested

Meanwhile, Up to 118 people have been arrested in Pakistan after a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob who accused him of blasphemy, Punjab Inspector-General Rao Sardar Ali Khan said.

The IG said that during the last 24 hours, police have conducted raids in over 200 areas of the city and arrested nearly 120 men.

The spokesperson of Punjab revealed that the police have obtained CCTV footage of the attack from 160 cameras installed at the site.

He said that the post-mortem of the victim has been conducted and Prime Minister Imran Khan and CM Usman Buzdar are overseeing the investigations themselves.

Detailing the sequence of the events that led to the incident, IG Rao said that the DPO of Sialkot reached the site 17 minutes after the first complaint.

Postmortem Report

According to the postmortem report, the incident was reported to the police at 11:26 am. A sticker regarding religion was placed on a machine in factory which, the manager directed to remove in the wake of foreigners’ visit, the report stated.

Allegedly, the workers didn’t act on the order due to which, the manager came forward and remove it by himself. The factory owners and administration fled the scene after lynching the Sri Lankan manager, the report mentioned.

On the other hand, the postmortem report of Priyantha Kumara showed that most of his body was burnt while his bones were also broken due to severe torture.

The Incident

On Friday, a mob in Sialkot tortured a Sri Lankan national to death and then burnt his body. The incident occurred on Sialkot’s Wazirabad Road, where workers of private factories attacked the export manager of a factory and burnt his body over alleged blasphemy.

Police had been sent to the area to bring the situation under control. Sialkot district police officer Umar Saeed Malik said the man was a Sri Lankan national.

“After successful talks with the angry group of protesters, traffic was resumed on the road,” the police official said.

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