Sri Lankan Factory Manager in Pakistan Beaten to Death by Mob For Alleged Blasphemy
13:33 GMT 03.12.2021 (Updated: 18:35 GMT 19.10.2022)
Any perceived insult to Islam in Pakistan could be considered blasphemous which carries a potential death sentence. Besides the legal implications, there have been several incidents involving radicalised mobs torturing and killing people accused of blasphemy.
A Sri Lankan national working as the manager of a private factory in the Pakistani city of Sialkot was allegedly beaten to death by a mob of factory workers, according to several media reports. His corpse was then set on fire in an open space.
Sialkot City’s District Police Officer Umar Saeed Malik told local reporters that the murdered foreigner has been identified as Priyantha Diyawadana, who worked as export manager at Rajco Metal Industries which is a business which makes copper products.
According to witnesses
, Diyawadana tore a poster off a wall and this was considered an “insult” to the Prophet by factory workers.
Reports have said that many people in the crowd also chanted slogans of banned Islamist group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan* (TLP) while killing and burning the man.
WARNING! The following video contains graphic material which may offend.
The TLP is a banned extremist Islamist organisation which has been involved in violent protests against the government this year.
TLP protesters have demanded, among other things, the expulsion of the French Ambassador to Pakistan after France's president Emmanuel Macron defended the right to free speech in his country after the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty
in October 2020.
Paty was beheaded by a teenager of Chechen origin for showing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in the classroom.
Despite being banned in Pakistan, the group’s Barelvi ideology
is popular among an estimated half of the country's population.
2 November 2021, 20:18 GMT
Meanwhile, after the police reached the crime scene in Punjab Province's Sialkot city, they found it took several hours to calm the crowd down.
The police have refused to give any other details about the incident while an investigation is pending.
Punjab’s provincial chief Usman Buzdar, meanwhile, has described the incident as “very tragic”.
"Every aspect of the incident should be investigated and a report should be submitted. Action should be taken against those who take the law into their own hands," Buzdar has said.