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Postmortem report, videos reveal new details on Sialkot lynching

The body has been moved to Lahore

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 4, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Dec 4, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Outside the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, people pay homage to Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara who was lynched by a mob. Photo: File

The preliminary postmortem of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara reveals that he died of a severe blow to his head and most of his limb bone had been shattered before the body was set on fire.

The report and additional videos that surfaced on Saturday have revealed new details on the lynching. It emerged that at least one colleague tried to shield Priyanatha from the mob.

The body of Priyanatha has been moved to Lahore on the way to Islamabad, where it would be handed over to the Sri Lankan High Commission.

The Sri Lankan national was lynched by a mob of factory workers and others on Friday over alleged blasphemy allegations. He worked as exports manager at Rajco Industries’ unit located at Wazirabad Road.

Factory employees first killed him and then dragged his body out to set in on fire. The grisly events were recorded on mobile cameras.

Postmortem report

The postmortem report reveals the final moment of Priyanatha Kumara, who had been working in the country for over a decade.

According to the report, Priyantha’s skull received multiple hits and a severe blow then went deep into his brain causing the death.

The mob broke almost all of the limb bones, according to SAMAA TV.

About 99% of the tissues were damaged with burns and wounds. The body was burnt except for the lower legs.

Following the legal formalities and postmortem, the police have escorted the body to Lahore under security. The body will be handed over to Sri Lankan High Commission in Islamabad.

The Sri Lankan High Commission staff will accompany the body to Colombo, according to reports by the Sri Lankan media outlets.

The real cause of heated exchange

The mob had accused Priayanatha of blasphemy after he allegedly tore down some posters of a religious outfit pasted to the factory walls.

However, a police investigation on Saturday revealed that Priyanatha and workers had a heated exchange over another issue, SAMAA TV reported.

The report says that an inspection of the Rajco Industries by foreign companies was due and the deceased had ordered the complete overhaul and maintenance of the factory machines.

According to the police, the manager and workers first got into a heated argument at 10:00am on Friday that escalated to violence.

It says some of the workers had been fired for derelict.

Following the dispute, the workers staged a protest in the factory and alleged that Priyanatha Kumara has committed blasphemy.

The protest suspended the traffic in the area and the crowd gradually grew larger.

The report has been submitted to Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar.

Poice has obtained 12 hour CCTV footage recorded by 160 CCTV cameras in the factory.

Colleagues try to shield Priyanatha

Priyanatha Kumara went to the rooftop of the Rajco Industries factory to escape the mob. PHOTO SAMAA TV

New videos and reports emerged on Saturday suggesting that after the mob re-entered the factory following the protest on the road, Priyanatha run to the rooftop to save his life.

Videos show that mob surrounds him on the rooftop amid an array of solar panels.

At least one colleague tries to shield Priyanatha from the mob as the Sri Lankan national clings to his legs.

SAMAA TV‘s Shehzad Ali, who visited the factory on Saturday, says there were a few other factory workers who tried to protect their manager.

A BBC URDU report says at least four workers were proactively trying to rescue the manager. They had told him to flee to the rooftop, but the mob somehow detected him there.

The four were wounded during the scuffle.

The violent mob continues to attack saying the manager “will not escape today.”

The man shielding the Sri Lankan national was later identified as Malik Adnan, the production manager at Rajco Industries.

They reportedly threw him down from the top.

His body was later dragged out of the factory to the main road and then set on fire.

The mob continued to record videos and take selfies with the burning corpse.

After the lynching, the mob vandalized the properties and cars outside the factory.

The attack has caused outrage in Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the lynching a day of shame for the country.

Police have arrested over 120 people, including the 13 prime suspects.

The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry paid homage to Priyanatha Kumara by lying flowers before his photo. It has “condemned the horrible act and resolved to formulate policies to avoid any such incidents in future.”

At a press conference in Lahore, Punjab Inspector-General Rao Sardar Ali Khan briefed journalists and media on the investigations into the case. “During the last 24 hours, we have conducted raids in over 200 areas of the city and arrested nearly 120 men,” IG Rao said.

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