Remains of Sialkot lynching victim Priyantha repatriated to Sri Lanka


LAHORE – The remains of Sri Lankan factory citizen Diyawadanage Don Nandasri Priyantha, who was lynched by a mob in Sialkot over allegations of blasphemy, were repatriated to Colombo today (Monday).

The officials of the Sri Lankan embassy escorted Kumara’s body to the airport from a hospital in Lahore. The body of the victim had been shifted to Lahore from Sialkot and Punjab Minister for Minorities Affairs Aijaz Alam represented Chief Minister Usman Buzdar during the repatriation of the body.

Last rites of Priyantha will be held in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Mohan Vijay Vikrama has said that the Sialkot incident will have no negative impact on bilateral relationship of both countries.

“Pakistan and Sri Lanka are friends and will remain friends. I assure you that this incident will not affect our relations,” he said during a press conference on Monday.

He also appreciated Pakistan government and people for extending support and sympathies on the brutal killing of the Sri Lankan manger.

“I am sure that the government of Pakistan will take steps to ensure that the family of Priyanta Deyawanda Kumar gets justice. This is a murder. The Sri Lankan government is sure that it [the incident] has nothing to do with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We have seen that Pakistan has taken immediate action,” Vikram said.

“We don’t need to claim we’re friends; Pakistan and Sri Lanka have social, defence, and commerce ties, and this incident will not impact the existing relationship,” he added.

Meanwhile, police have arrested seven more suspects in the case. So far, a total of 131 suspects have been detained.

Punjab Police spokesperson in a statement said that prime suspects, identified as Sikandar, Rashid, Ahmed Shehzad, Zohaib, Muhammad Irshad, Subhan and Umair Ali, have been arrested.

He said that Sikandar and Zohaib incited the people while Zohiab was armed with sticks used to thrash the victim.

Last week, a mob of private factory employees lynched Kukmara, who worked as export manager there, over the allegations of blasphemy.

A dispute had emerged when the foreign national removed some posters from the machines installed at the factory. The posters were reportedly inscribed with the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Punjab government spokesperson Hassan Khawar said that the provincial police chief was personally overseeing the probe.

The lynching was widely condemned by Pakistan’s political and military leadership, prominent social and religious figures and civil society members.

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