Sialkot factory hires another Sri Lankan for Priyantha Kumara’s position

Sialkot factory hires another Sri Lankan for Priyantha Kumara’s position

Sialkot factory hires another Sri Lankan for Priyantha Kumara’s position

Written by Zulfick Farzan

24 Dec, 2021 | 1:20 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Rajco Industries in Sialkot, Pakistan have recruited another Sri Lankan to the post held by the Late Priyantha Kumara, who was lynched by a mob in early December 2021.

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.

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

On Thursday (23), Pakistan High Commissioner-designate to Sri Lanka, Major General (R) Umar Farooq paid a courtesy call on the High Commissioner, Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama.

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 (23).

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

Expressing condolences on the death of Mr. Priyantha Kumara, the 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 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 earlier this month in Sialkot.

Kumara’s lynching has been widely condemned in Pakistan’s religious circles. Clerics from all schools of thought visited the High Commission of Sri Lankan on December 7th and unanimously condemned the killing and announced that it was “un-Islamic”.

The Sialkot factory where a Sri Lankan national, Priyantha Kumara, was tortured to death and later set ablaze has announced to bear expenses of two children of the victim.

Priyantha Kumara murder :

Priyantha Kumara, a 49-year-old Sri Lankan national, was lynched by a mob at a factory in Sialkot on December 3, where he worked as a manager.

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

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

Police Investigations: 

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

The Special anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday (22) granted physical remand of 34 accused in the lynching of a Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot, ARY News reported.

Police produced 34 accused of the lynching incident on completion of the previous remand before ATC Judge Natasha Naseem Sipra and requested for extension in the physical remand of the accused.

The Judge granted 13 days remand and ordered the police to produce the accused on January 03 in court.

Stringent security arrangements were made during the production of the accused in the case.

The court had earlier granted physical remand of a batch of 33 suspects of the same case to police until Jan 03. Another batch of 18 accused of the case will be produced in the court on Dec 28.

The Incident:

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.

This report was compiled with contributions from Pakistan Networks

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