As the mortal remains of Sri Lankan national who was killed over blasphemy allegations in Sialkot last week, reached Colombo from Lahore airport, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday granted physical remand of 26 accused for 15 days for investigation.
Priyantha Kumara's remains were repatriated with state honours.
Sri Lanka High Commissioner Mohan Wijewickrama maintained that the Sialkot incident will not affect the relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
On Friday, the Sri Lankan citizen employed as an exports manager at a factory in Sialkot was brutally murdered by a mob that accused him of committing blasphemy. He was tortured by the mob to death and his body was set on fire.
Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Interfaith Harmony Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi and Punjab Minister for Human Rights Ejaz Alam Augustine along with the officials of the Sri Lankan consulate were present at the airport.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bazdar was supposed to send off the body of the Sri Lanka national, but he could not reach the airport due to a "busy schedule in Islamabad".
At least seven more prime accused were rounded up by Punjab Police over the past 12 hours as arrests over the lynching of the Sri Lankan national continued into the fourth day.
So far, the police have made 131 arrests, including 26 key accused, the official handle of Punjab Police disclosed. The police had booked at least 800 people under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) for their involvement in the lynching.
The 26 accused were brought to the anti-terrorism court of Gujranwala Division in strict security. They unsuccessfully tried to hide their faces outside the court to avoid the media cameras.
Remains of Diyawadanage Don Priyantha Kumar killed by a mob in Sialkot Pakistan was transferred from Lahore to Colombo by SriLankan Airlines this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/vO1jA0lvAG— Sri Lanka High Commission in Pakistan (@SLinPakistan) December 6, 2021
The ATC granted 15-day physical remand of the accused and directed the investigation officer to present them on December 21.
Pakistan, Sri Lanka ties
Sri Lanka High Commissioner Mohan Wijewickrama on Monday expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the Pakistan government on the Sialkot incident.
A delegation of PTI central leaders visited the Sri Lankan embassy in Islamabad. They expressed deep grief and sorrow over Kumara’s killing and condoled with the Sri Lankan authorities.
Addressing the media, the Sri Lankan high commissioner termed the Sialkot incident unfortunate. He said they were sure Pakistan government would take steps that the family of Kumara gets justice.
“This [Sialkot] incident will not affect the relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Both the countries are old friends and the friendly relations will continue,” Wijewickrama said.
Hailing the steps taken by the Pakistan government, Wijewickrama said a large number of people had
been arrested since Friday when the incident took place.
'Justice will be served'
Meanwhile, a delegation of Sri Lankan lawmakers called on Pakistan's envoy in Sri Lanka to express concern and grief on behalf of Sri Lanka's parliament over the brutal killing.
The Lankan parliamentarians said Pakistan and Sri Lanka had longstanding ties while hoping that justice would be served in the case.
Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Tanvir Bhatti assured them of speedy justice from the government in line with the directions of the prime minister.
A condolence reference will be held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday (today) for Kumara. The event is being held to express solidarity with the bereaved family and Sri Lankan government and people.
It will be attended by the federal cabinet members, Wijewickrama, think tanks, academicians, religious scholars and other celebrities.
گزشتہ 12گھنٹے میں پولیس نے مزید 7 مرکزی کرداروں کو گرفتار کر لیا ہے۔ان میں سری لنکن مینیجر پر حملے کی پلاننگ میں شامل ملزم سمیت تشدد کرنے اور اشتعال پھیلانے والے بھی شامل ہیں۔اب تک 131 زیرحراست افراد میں سے 26 ملزمان کا مرکزی کرادر سامنے آیا ہے۔ @UsmanAKBuzdar #Sialkot https://t.co/LuqnJV1NH0— Punjab Police Official (@OfficialDPRPP) December 6, 2021
The condolence reference will also mark the laying of a wreath at the portrait of the slain Sri Lankan national.
At the remembrance ceremony, a certificate of appreciation will also be awarded to Malik Adnan, a colleague who tried to rescue Kumara from the mob, in recognition of his bravery to safeguard the victim while risking his own life.
On Sunday, PM Imran “saluted the moral courage and bravery” of Adnan and announced awarding Tamgha-e-Shujaat to him.
The heartening footage of Adnan trying to save the Sri Lankan national from the wild-eyed, rabid mob came to the fore on Saturday, earning praise from the entire nation.
In the CCTV footage, Adnan was seen confronting a group of angry men all by himself and making desperate attempts to avert the flare-up.
He was then seen trying to shield the man from the angry mob, who were baying for blood.
🇱🇰Parliamentarians met AHC Mr. Tanvir Ahmad @TanvirABhatti to express concerns & grief on behalf of🇱🇰Parliament regarding #Sialkottragedy. They reiterated longstanding 🇱🇰🇵🇰 friendship. AHC assured them of speedy justice from🇵🇰 Govt in line with directions of @PakPMO @ImranKhanPTI pic.twitter.com/OctbZFVWVY— Pakistan High Commission Sri Lanka (@PakinSriLanka) December 6, 2021
"On behalf of the nation I want to salute moral courage & bravery of Malik Adnan who tried his utmost to shelter & save Priyantha Diyawadana from the vigilante mob in Sialkot incl[uding] endangering his own life by physically trying to shield victim," the premier wrote on his official Twitter handle.
On Saturday, PM Imran spoke to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to convey the nation's "anger and shame" to the vigilante killing of Kumara in Sialkot.
"Spoke to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today in UAE to convey our nation's anger & shame to people of Sri Lanka at vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot," the premier wrote on Twitter.
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