Sialkot factory hires another Sri Lankan after lynching of Priyantha Kumara

25-12-2021 16:13:13
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Rajco Industries in Sialkot, Pakistan, has recruited another Sri Lankan to the post held by Priyantha Kumara, who was lynched by a mob in early December.

This was disclosed when Maulana Tariq Jamil, a popular Pakistani scholar, and religious writer accompanied by Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for interfaith harmony, paid a visit to the Sri Lankan High Commission in Pakistan and expressed their condolences on the incident that took place in Sialkot, reported.

Maulana Tariq Jamil affirmed that justice would prevail and the culprits will be punished.

On Thursday, Pakistan High Commissioner-designate to Sri Lanka, Major General Umar Farooq paid a courtesy call on the High Commissioner, Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama in Islamabad.

In addition, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi received Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, Secretary-General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

The SAARC Secretary-General is on his first visit to Pakistan since assuming office in March 2020.

Expressing condolences on the death of Priyantha Kumara, the Pakistan Foreign Minister stated that the entire political leadership, religious scholars and Pakistani nation had condemned the incident and the Government of Pakistan was determined to take all necessary steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) lynched the factory’s 49-year-old general manager – Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana – before setting his body on fire over allegations of blasphemy on December 3 in Sialkot.

Kumara’s lynching has been widely condemned in Pakistan’s religious circles.

The Sialkot factory has announced it will bear the expenses of the two children of Priyantha Kumara.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against hundreds of unidentified men, including workers of the factory in the case. Scores have since been arrested and are facing investigation.

The Punjab government and the prosecution team in December decided to conduct a jail trial of the high-profile case due to security concerns.

Police have so far produced 85 suspects of the Sialkot lynching incident in the Anti Terrorism Court.

Quoting unidentified police sources, Geo TV said some factory workers disliked Priyantha Kumara, a textile engineer, for being strict in enforcing discipline.

After a routine inspection on the morning of December 3, a Friday, Kumara had snubbed the sanitary staff over poor work. The channel reported that as the factory was about to undergo a whitewash, the manager started removing posters from walls. As one of the posters was an invitation to a religious moot, some workers objected to it.

According to Pakistan’s Geo News the Punjab government has sent an initial investigation report of the Sialkot tragedy to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

As per the preliminary report, a dispute had ensued when Kumara removed some posters from the walls of the factory at 10:28 am.

Shortly after, the factory owner had reached the spot and resolved the issue. Kumara had apologized for the misunderstanding on his part.

After Kumara made the apology, the matter was reportedly considered settled and the factory workers dispersed.

However, some workers then incited their colleagues to attack the manager.

Within a few minutes, a mob formed and set on the victim within the premises of the industrial unit, eventually killing him.

A mob of over 800 men gathered at the factory on reports that Kumara had torn a sticker/poster with verses of the Quran on it.

“They looked out for him and found him (from the rooftop). They dragged him, beat him severely, and by 11.28 am he was dead and the body was set on fire by the violent mob,” said the police report.


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