‘Terrible and Barbaric:’ Pakistani celebrities, politicians condemn lynching of Sri Lankan manager in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations - GulfToday

‘Terrible and Barbaric:’ Pakistani celebrities, politicians condemn lynching of Sri Lankan manager in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations


(From L to R) Saba Qamar, Mahira Khan, Mansha Pasha, Mehwish Hayat and Ushna Shah expresses shock at Sialkot tragedy.

Gulf Today Report

Social media was outraged over the cruel killing of Sri Lankan manager, Priyantha Kumara, over allegations of blasphemy in Pakistani city of Sialkot on Friday.

Twitter users reacted strongly to the brutality and condemned the perpetrators. In response to the incident, several celebrities, politicians and journalists took to the social media and condemned the horrifying tragedy.


Humsafar actress Mahira Khan demanded justice for the victim. "Ashamed!! Sick to my stomach!! Looking at you @ImranKhanPTI for answers, for justice and to take away this menace from our country," she wrote on her official handle.


“Words fail me. We as a nation need to hold our heads in shame. Do we really want to live in a country where mob rule is the norm and not the exception? We look to Imran Khan for swift action to stop this now,” tweeted Mehwish Hayat.


Mansha Pasha also feels its high time vloggers and bloggers took a break from propagating a ‘soft image’ of Pakistan. “So, who’s the next vlogger who’s going to make feel good tourist ads and proclaim how safe the country is for foreigners?” she questioned.


Actresses Saba Qamar, Ushna Shah, Comedian Shafaat Ali and cricketer Muhammad Hafeez also condemned the murder, declaring the act as “shameful.”



Journalist Anas Mallick blamed radicalisation and insurmountable intolerance that is present in Pakistan. "The amount of radicalisation and intolerance that has transgressed into the society can be very well measured by what happened in Sialkot - Absolutely horrific - Our heads should hang in shame."


Journalist Raza Ahmad Rumi tweeted a video of the grisly act. "Horrific: A mob in Sialkot killed a sports factory manager of Sri Lankan origin) for allegedly removing TLP posters. The videos of his lynching/burning are brutal reminders of state policies that have radicalised generations, normalising murders & mainstreaming radical groups."


Disgruntled leader of Pakistan Tehrik e Insaaf (PTI) Jehangir Tareen tweeted out his remorse and condemnation. "Deeply gutted at the gruesome act of violence in Sialkot! My heart goes out to the family of Priyantha Kumara. Our Prophet (PBUH) was the pinnacle of patience. To carry out an act of violence, that too in the name of Namoose Risalat, is a massive disservice to Islam."

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In response to social media outrage, Prime Minister Imran issued his condemnation of the attack and promised that arrests will be made swiftly.

"The horrific vigilante attack on factory in Sialkot & the burning alive of Sri Lankan manager is 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 tweeted.


Meanwhile, in a statement, cleric Mufti Taqi Usmani condemned the killing of the foreign national over blasphemy allegations.


He said blasphemy was a "grave crime” but the evidence to prove the blasphemy charges must be beyond doubt.The Sialkot incident has tarnished the image of Pakistan and Muslims across the world, he added.


He expressed concerns over the violent state of affairs in Pakistan, saying instead of using force, the government should table the matter before parliament to resolve such issues. He also urged the protesters to use peaceful means instead of destroying national properties and violence.

A total of 118 accused including a dozen main culprits have been arrested on the charge of killing a Sri Lankan national over blasphemy in Sialkot.


Culprits are being identified through 160 CCTV cameras spanning 12 hours. Sialkot police have booked at least 800 people under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Farhan Idrees, the key suspect, has been detained.


Police said hundreds of people armed with sticks and batons were present inside the factory at the time of the murder of the foreign national, Priyantha Kumara.
After the murder, the mob dragged his body on the streets, the police said, adding that it failed to stop the crowd due to a lack of strength.

As per the initial investigation, the police said that the Sri Lanka citizen was killed over allegations of blasphemy. They added that they were investigating the matter from all angles.

SriLankan-manager Businessmen put candles and rose petals next to the portrait of Priyantha Kumara outside the office of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry. AP

An initial report of the incident has been submitted to Prime Minister Imran Khan by the Punjab police. According to it, at least 118 suspects have been detained who were identified with the help of the factory managers. The provocateurs have been arrested as well.

The detained suspects have been moved to unknown locations, they said, adding that investigation was still underway.

Separately, the body of the deceased has been handed over to the police after post-mortem for legal formalities.

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