Police arrest 18 more main suspects in Sialkot lynching case
Posted on December 13th, 2021

Courtesy Dawn

Police on Monday claimed to have arrested 18 more main suspects involved in the lynching of 49-year-old Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot.

A mob comprising hundreds of protesters, including the employees of the factory Kumara was the manager of, had tortured him to death on December 3 and later burnt his body.

A first information report was registered against 900 workers of Rajco Industries on the application of Uggoki Station House Officer Armaghan Maqt under sections 302, 297, 201, 427, 431, 157, 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 7 and 11WW of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

With Monday’s arrests, the total number of suspects in custody has risen to 52, Sialkot police spokesperson Khurram Shehzad told Dawn.com.

The 18 suspects were later produced before a special anti-terrorism court in Gujranwala, which remanded them in police custody for 15 days. The judge directed police to present the suspects again on December 28.

“Thirty-four primary suspects are already in remand with police. More than 100 individuals are under investigation,” the spokesperson said.

‘Horrific vigilante attack’

The incident saw widespread outrage and condemnation across Pakistan with politicians, scholars and civil society members calling for swift punishment to be meted out to the perpetrators.

Reacting to the horrific vigilante attack”, Prime Minister Imran Khan termed it a day of shame for Pakistan. I am overseeing the investigations & let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law. Arrests are in progress,” he had tweeted.

Kumara’s remains were repatriated to Sri Lanka on Dec 6 and a condolence reference was held for him a day later at the Prime Minister’s House.

The political and military leadership subsequently decided the government would pursue a “comprehensive strategy” to stamp out religious extremism and vigilantism in the incident’s wake.

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