Sialkot lynching: Police chief says 85 played central role

Sialkot lynching: Police chief says 85 played central role

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The Sialkot police chief stated that 85 people played a central role in the lynching of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot on December 3. All arrested.

Sialkot District Police Officer (DPO) Omar Saeed spoke specifically to Shehzad Ali of SAMAA TV that the police are investigating in a cautious manner to avoid any shortcomings that might help the defendant to evade justice.

He rejected reports that the police’s response to the incident had been delayed. Said said that the police learned of Rajcto Industries’ brawl at 1126 in the morning when Priyantha Kumara had died.

The police chief said that Priyanta died at 1105 am after being lynched by a mob. The mob set fire to his body.

Said said they are still investigating why the police were not notified within 75 minutes.

“Perhaps CCTV cameras were not being monitored, or the factory workers at the lower floor were unaware” of what was happening at the rooftop, he said.

Priyantha Kumara had tried to hide under the solar panels at his factory’s rooftop after he was accused of blasphemy by some of the factory workers. A video shows his colleague, Adnan Malik, trying to shield him against the mob assault as Priyantha clings to Malik’s legs.

The mob reportedly snatched him from Adnan and threw him down to the ground before setting his body on fire on the road.

DPO Saeed said after the police were informed, officers arrived at the scene only with a delay of five minutes. And that delay was caused because workers had gathered on the road, he said.

He said the police will also investigate the factory management and workers in connection with the lynching of Priaynatha.

The DPO said that no one could be forced to appear before the court of law as a witness and all the testimonies would be given voluntarily.

Silakot police had registered a case against 800 unidentified people after the lynching earlier this month. It subsequently detained nearly 182 people, most of whom were identified from CCTV footages and mobile videos.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said at a press conference on Thursday that the police released 62 of them after finding no evidence against them.

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