Police claim to have arrested 145 suspects in Sialkot incident

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Young men in Sialkot become emotional, Pervez Khattak

LAHORE Dec 04,2021 – Police claimed to have arrested over 145 suspects in Sialkot incident and transferred them to an unidentified location.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has demanded that the perpetrators of the Sialkot incident be brought to justice.

In a statement, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that the mob in Sialkot had shown unimaginable barbarism on baseless allegations.

The HRCP further said that radicalism is on the rise in Pakistan and immediate and transparent investigation into the Sialkot incident should be carried out.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also says that it is unfortunate to say that the reaction of the state has been cowardly.

The incident

The Sri Lankan manager of a factory was lynched to death and his body was burnt by hundreds of people in Sialkot yesterday on charges of blasphemy.

 Furious workers of a garment factory in Sialkot on Friday tortured their Sri Lankan general manager to death over allegations of blasphemy and set the body on fire.

Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan Christian, had been working at Rajco Industries for 10 years.

The employees of Rajco Industries, located on Wazirabad Road, staged a protest on the premises alleging that Sri Lankan general manager Kumara, had committed blasphemy. On receiving information about the protest, three personnel of the Uggoki police reached the spot, but the mob clearly outnumbered them, making them silent spectators.

Due to protest traffic on Wazirabad Road suspended and were joined by all the factory workers and a large number of locals. On seeing the mob gradually swell from a few dozen to hundreds, Mr Kumara dashed to the roof. Shouting slogans, the charged protesters chased him, dragged him out on the road and tortured him with kicks, stones and iron rods, killing him on the spot. The mob then set the body on fire.

Witnesses Mohammad Iftikhar and Mohammad Ilyas said had the DPO responded to the sensitive matter on time, the killing could have been avoided. They held police’s incompetence responsible for the gruesome incident.

In 2010 two brothers were lynched by angry protesters owing to police’s incompetence and failure to respond on time.

FIR lodged

A first information report of the incident was registered at the Uggoki police station for aggravated murder and burning of the body against dozens of unidentified people under terrorism and murder provisions. Police collected videos of the torture from social media.

Police claimed to have arrested over 145 suspects and transferred them to an unidentified location.

PM and Army chief also condemn

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

The army chief condemned the “cold-blooded and shameful murder” of Mr Kumara by a mob. “Such extra-judicial vigilantism cannot be condoned at any cost.