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Pakistan: Six sentenced to death for lynching Sri Lankan over ‘blasphemy’

A court in Pakistan has sentenced six people to death after convicting them for their roles in last year’s vigilante killing of a Sri Lankan factory manager accused by workers

A court in Pakistan has sentenced six people to death after convicting them for their roles in last year’s vigilante killing of a Sri Lankan factory manager accused by workers of committing blasphemy.

The judge also instructed the six prime suspects, who were sentenced to death, to pay Rs. 2,00,000 as compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased.

Anti-Terrorism Court Lahore Judge Natasha Nasim  also handed down life imprisonment to nine people, two-year rigorous imprisonment each to 72 accused persons, including nine juveniles.

The nine accused who were given life imprisonment will have to pay a fine of Rs 2,00,000/- each and Rs 2,00,000/-compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased.

A mob of over 800 men including supporters of radical Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan allegedly attacked a garment factory and lynched its general manager Priyantha Kumara (47) and burned his body over allegations of blasphemy on December 3, in Sialkot district.

Kumara was working as a general manager in the Rajko industries (dealing in garments sportswear) in the Sialkot district for the last seven years or so.

After Kumara’s murder, some 200 suspects were taken into custody. However, over 100 of them were subsequently released after no evidence of their involvement in the incident was found.

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.

First Published: 19th April, 2022 11:26 IST

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