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Pakistan's Sialkot Factory Employs Sri Lankan National In Place Of Slain Compatriot

A factory in Sialkot in Pakistan has hired another Sri Lankan national replacing his compatriot who was lynched earlier this month on allegations of blasphemy.

Pakistan

IMAGE: AP


In a courageous display of protest against radical Islamist supporters, a factory in Sialkot in Pakistan has hired another Sri Lankan national replacing his compatriot who was lynched earlier this month on allegations of blasphemy. Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Special Representative to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi informed the recruitment of the Sri Lankan worker in the factory. He later visited the Sri Lankan High Office along with Islamic preacher Maulana Tariq Jamil to convey condolences over the Sialkot incident, PTI reported.

The move comes after Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, a 49-year-old general manager at a sports goods factory was lynched by the radical Islamist Party (Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in Sialkot earlier this month on December 7. He was beaten to death and set ablaze by an enraged mob over reported allegations of blasphemy in a "horrific vigilante attack". Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called the incident "a day or shame for Pakistan."

Educational expenses or Kumara's son to be borne by factory owner

Addressing the media after a meeting with Minister Tahir Ashrafi, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Mohan Wijewickrama informed that the educational expenses of the deceased's son will be borne by the factory owner. He also confirmed that the "administration has given a job to a Sri Lankan citizen in the factory," without adding further details about the new manager's identity. Furthermore, he thanked the Sri Lankan diaspora for choosing to work, despite the "atmosphere of fear." He also went to express gratitude to the Pakistani clerics who condemned Kumara's "un-Islamic" lynching, PTI reported.

Pak Police nabs 18 more accused in Sri Lankan man lynching

As of December 13, Pakistan Police claimed to have arrested at least 18 more suspects allegedly involved in the Sialkot murder of Kumara. As per the FIR, nearly 900 workers of Rajco Industries have been booked 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, the Dawn had reported. With the said arrests, the total number detained has reached nearly 52, Sialkot Police spokesperson Khurram Shezad told the Dawn. "34 primary suspects are already in remand with police. Another 100 are under investigation," Shezad informed.

(With inputs from PTI)

(Image: AP)

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