Friday, April 5, 2024

Sri Lankan factory manager lynched and set on fire in Pakistan over ‘blasphemy’; police arrests 100 suspects

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In a grisly incident, a top Sri Lankan executive of a garment factory was lynched and his body burnt by angry supporters of a hardline Islamist party which attacked the facility in Pakistan’s Punjab province over blasphemy allegations on Friday, police said.

Priyantha Kumara, who was in his 40s, was working as the general manager of the garment factory in Sialkot district, some 100 kms from here, a Punjab police official told PTI.

“Mr Kumara allegedly tore a poster of the hardline Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in which Quranic verses were inscribed and threw it in the dustbin. The poster of the Islamist party was pasted on the wall adjoining the office of Kumara. A couple of factory workers saw him removing the poster and spread the word in the factory,” the official said.

Hundreds of men, enraged over the “blasphemy” incident, started gathering outside the factory from adjoining areas. Most of them were activists and supporters of the TLP.

“The mob dragged the suspect (the Sri Lankan national) from the factory and severely tortured him. After he succumbed to his wounds, the mob burnt his body before police reached there,” the official said.

Several videos were circulated on social media showing hundreds of men gathered at the site surrounding the body…

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