EXCLUSIVE: Man who tried to protect Priyantha Kumara, details the horror at Sialkot

EXCLUSIVE: Man who tried to protect Priyantha Kumara, details the horror at Sialkot

Written by Zulfick Farzan

08 Dec, 2021 | 7:30 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Rajcot Industries factory worker, Malik Adnan who tried to protect and save Priyantha Kumara, who was brutally lynched in Sialkot Pakistan said he tried to save his colleague in the name of humanity and to protect his country.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to News 1st’s Zulfick Farzan over the phone, Adnan detailed what happened on Friday the 3rd of December, the day Priyantha Kumara was tortured and killed.

” He was visiting on that day. In that house (factory building) he removed some pamphlets and the workers started shouting and making allegations. People started to get together,” he told News 1st.

According to Malik, thereafter the senior staff were having discussions with Priyantha Kumara on a separate issue when the call came stating that some workers were not working but were making serious allegations.

“I move to that house (factory building) and I requested those people that Mr. Priyantha does not know how to read or write Urdhu. That is why he does not understand what was in that pamphlet. But they did not listen and started to move towards us. Then some other company people and outsiders added to their group and attacked Mr. Priyantha’s Office. In the meantime, Mr. Priyantha went from the office to the roof. On the roof, they started to beat him. I reached him and tried my best to protect him. But I could not protect him,” he said.

” I tried my level best to protect him. But I could not protect him. After that, they started to torture him more with rods and scissors. After that, he died on the roof.” Malik said trying to hold back emotions.

The recipient of the ‘Tamgha e Shujaat’ Medal of Bravery from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Malik Adnan said that he dedicated the award and certificate given to him by the Prime Minister to Priyantha Kumara and the people of Sri Lanka.

“Mr. Priyantha was my friend and colleague. I protected him for two reasons. Firstly, I did not want my country face to be destroyed in front of other countries. Secondly, as a human being, I wanted to save him. That was in my mind. I wanted to save humanity and the face of my country,” he said.

The Incident:

A mob comprising hundreds of protestors, including the employees of the factory Kumara was the manager of, had tortured him to death on Friday and later burnt his body.

A first information report was registered against 900 workers of Rajco Industries on the application of Uggoki Station House Officer (SHO) Armaghan Maqt under Sections 302, 297, 201, 427, 431, 157, 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 7 and 11WW of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The applicant stated that the protesters had slapped, kicked, punched and hit Kumara with sticks in his presence, and dragged him out of the factory on Wazirabad Road where he died. They then set the body on fire.

Initial Investigation Report:

Pakistan Media are now reporting that there was a plot to assassinate Priyantha Kumara, the Sri Lankan manager, who was brutally murdered in Sialkot, Pakistan on 3rd December 2021.

The Punjab Police have confirmed that the most wanted accused in the murder of a Sri Lankan export manager, was arrested on Monday (6).

The suspect was identified as Imtiaz alias Billi, and he was involved in torturing the late Priyantha Kumara and desecrating his body.

The accused was arrested on a bus bound for Rawalpindi.

In the last 12 hours, Punjab Police arrested seven more key figures, including one accused of plotting to assassinate a Sri Lankan manager, as well as one of the perpetrators of violence and incitement.

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

After a routine inspection on Friday morning, Mr Kumara had snubbed the sanitary staff over poor work. The channel further 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 had sent an initial investigation report of the Sialkot tragedy to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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

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 had 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.

“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 Police Report.

A total of 13 security guards were present in the factory as the brutal attack was occurring. None of them tried to rescue the victim or disperse the mob, the report had said.

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