Priyantha Diyawadana, a Sri Lankan national working as an industrial engineering manager at a sports goods factory on Wazirabad Road, Sialkot, was mercilessly beaten by a mob of angry factory workers with rods, batons, fists, and kicks while jeering religious slogans on Friday.
According to sources, the problem started when the 50-year-old victim checked the factory hall workers. Still, then the mobs got angry after the victim removed several posters with religious content from the walls and threw them in the trash.
Sources said that when the victim fled onto the roof to save his life, dozens of workers chased him and caught him, then threw him to the ground. Even though the victim was seriously injured, they beat him to death. They then dragged his body outside the factory before setting him on fire at GT Road Chowk in the most reprehensible display of bigotry and intolerance over allegations of religious blasphemy.
The factory owner, manager, and several staff members at the scene failed to defuse the situation as workers continued to damage the factory, blocking roads for all types of vehicles for two and a half hours and even recording video clips of the burning body with their cell phones.
But unfortunately, during this horrific incident, no elements of the police, district management, provincial government, or legislators who tried to intervene to save the life stood by as helpless witnesses.
Punjab Police spokesman explained that two main suspects – Farhan Idrees and Usman Rashid had been arrested. And police have registered the case and have arrested around 100 people involved in the incident with the help of CCTV cameras and video footage.
And when asked by a reporter about how quickly the police responded to the mob, the spokesman replied that troops arrived at the scene in about 20 minutes, which at 11:46 am, and then cleared the road by convincing the group to register a case of alleged blasphemy.
On the other hand, eyewitnesses said that the police quickly rushed to the scene after receiving the information but failed to deal with the crowd. The mob dispersed after the body was burned to the ground, and then Rescue-122 shifted it to the local morgue.