Accused of lynching of Srilankan challange his death sentence

Amraiz Khan

A man, who had been handed down the death penalty by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the murder case of a Sri Lankan citizen on Monday challenged the decision in Lahore High Court. The petitioner was accused of lynching a Srilankan citizend in a Sialkot factory on blasphemy charges.

In his acquittal plea, which Hafiz Muhammad Taimoor filed in the high court through his counsel Hafiz Israrul Haq Advocate, he argued that the prosecution had failed to prove him guilty on the basis of accounts given by two eyewitnesses, including Adnan Malik.

He went on to add that there was an allegation against him that he had hit the Sri Lankan citizen’s head with a brick. “However, the forensic science agency’s report negates this allegation,” read the petition. It was further stated in the petition that the Sri Lankan citizen’s murder was not planned; rather it happened accidentally and the ATC had awarded death penalty to six accused in the case without any solid proofs.

Therefore, Hafiz Taimoor, the petitioner, prayed to the court to declare the sentence awarded to him null and void.

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) had six days ago, on April 18, 2022, sentenced six accused to death and nine to life imprisonment for the lynching of Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan citizen, in the Sialkot factory last December.

The court has also verdict two years-long imprisonments to 72 people each who were also involved in the barbarian act. An accused Ali Asghar is awarded a sentence of imprisonment of five years while one of the accused Bilal was acquitted in the case.

The court awarded the death sentence to Taimur, Abdur Rehman, Muhammad Arshad, Ali Hussain, Abu Talha and Muhammad Humair while accused Rohail Amjad, Mohammad Shoaib, Ehtisham Zaib, Imran Riaz, Sajid Amin, Zaigham Mehdi, Ali Hamza, Luqman Haider and Abdus Saboor were awarded life imprisonment. Priyantha Kumara was a manager in a factory in Sialkot.

A sessions court in Lahore has deferred hearing on Punjab Assembly Speaker and PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi’s petition seeking registration of an FIR regarding assembly clashes in which he got injured and which the police were reluctant to file.

Additional Sessions Judge Hafiz Rizwan on Monday heard the petition filed by Pervaiz Elahi in which he pleaded with the court to direct the police to register his FIR regarding ruckus in Punjab Assembly on April 16 during the election of chief minister of the province and Elahi, who was also a contender for the slot was attacked and got injured and broke his arm.

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