ISLAMABAD: 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 said 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.
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.
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. Sri Lanka and her people are confident that PM Imran Khan will keep to his commitment to bring all those involved to justice,” he added.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday called for timely completion of sports-related projects saying that if sports participation increases, Pakistan’s talent had the potential to conquer arenas across the globe.
The premier’s resolve came whilst he was chairing a high-level meeting on National Sports Policy and Overhauling of Sports Governance Structure in Pakistan.
“Pakistan Sports Board should act as a regulator and focus on providing facilities to the youth,” he said.
The meeting was also apprised of the proposed revised structure of sports and coordination with the provinces for their input in the National Sports Policy.
It was told that Pakistan Sports Board’s (PSB) constitution had been re-drafted after a thorough review and the comprehensive draft has been accorded a nod by CCLC.
The board has been rationalized with its members reduced to 11 whereas the executive committee will comprise five members.
A comprehensive guideline has been laid for federations pertaining to all the sports being played in the country with incentives to comply including registration mechanism, guidelines for elections, model constitution and National Anti-doping Organization of Pakistan.
The meeting was also briefed on coordination with the provinces regarding National Sports Policy whereby strengthening the ties has been unanimously agreed which will help to conduct organized sports activities nationwide.
It was told that the guidelines had been laid for the provinces to help increase sports activities in the provinces which include prioritization of major sports, the revival of sports activities at the grass-root level i.e. schools and facilitation of clubs and associations to engage youth at the local level.
Updating the meeting about the laying of synthetic hockey turfs, the meeting was informed that six major cities had been provided with the facility whereby in Islamabad it had been completed while the work was near completion in Wah Cantt, Faisalabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Interprovincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza, Minister for State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports Punjab Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, Minister for Sports GB Raja Nasir Ali Khan, Minister for Environment Sports & Youth Balochistan Abdul Khaliq Hazara, SACM Sindh for Sports Arbab Lutfullah, DG Pakistan Sports Board Col. Muhammad Asif Zaman (Retd) and senior officials concerned. Chief Minister KP Mehmood Khan attended the meeting via video link.