New Delhi: An anti-terrorism court in Lahore announced the verdict in the mob lynching of Sri Lankan citizen Priyantha Kumara on false blasphemy allegations in Sialkot last year, awarding the death penalty to six prime suspects.
On Monday, April 18, the trial court gave life sentences to nine people, five years’ jail to one, and a two-year sentence to 72. However, one suspect was acquitted, Punjab Prosecution Department Secretary Nadeem Sarwar said in a press conference in Lahore.
Priyantha, a 49-year-old Sri Lankan national, was lynched by a mob of workers at a factory on December 3, 2021, where he was working as a manager.
The incident in Sialkot was the second such gory episode in the last 15-16 years in Pakistan. Pakistan authorities were earlier left red-faced by the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus in 2009.
The 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team occurred on March 3 when 12 gunmen fired upon a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
President Arif Alvi said the vigilante attack in Sialkot in December 2021 had nothing to do with religion, and then prime minister Imran Khan had promised that those responsible “will be punished with the full severity of the law”.
Sadly, many in the mob made no attempt to hide their identity, and some took selfies in front of the burning corpse.