Pakistan: PM Imran Khan condemns 'horrific' killing of Sri Lankan manager in Sialkot

The manager was burned alive in a factory attack; 50 people have been arrested so far, says spokesperson.

By Web Desk

Published: Fri 3 Dec 2021, 6:43 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Dec 2021, 9:23 PM

A mob of employees at a garment factory in eastern Pakistan tortured and killed their Sri Lankan manager on Friday and set his body on fire, authorities said.

"The factory workers tortured the manager," said a provincial government spokesman Hassan Khawar. "A total of 50 people so far have been identified and arrested."

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned the 'horrific vigilante attack', calling it a day of shame for Pakistan.

"The burning alive of Sri Lankan manager is a day of shame for Pakistan."

Reacting to the attack on Twitter, the PM said that he was personally overseeing the investigations, ensuring that those responsible will be punished 'with full severity of the law'.

A police official in the eastern town of Sialkot, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said investigators believed the attackers had accused the manager of blasphemy.

Television footage showed crowds of hundreds of people in the streets of Sialkot, in the heart of Pakistan's most heavily industrialised region where much of the country's export industry is based.

Underlining the shock caused across the political establishment, Pakistan's military also issued a statement condemning the "cold blooded murder."

"Such extra judicial vigilantism cannot be condoned at any cost," the military's press wing said, adding that the chief of the army staff had ordered full support to the civil administration to bring those responsible to justice.

A Punjab police spokesman said more than 100 arrests had been made including the prime suspect, who he said was seen in videos torturing the Sri Lankan manager and instigating the people against him.

The crime of blasphemy can carry the death sentence in some cases.

Tahir Ashrafi, Prime Minister Imran Khan's advisor for Interfaith Harmony, condemned the killing.

"It is a barbaric act and against Islam's teaching," he said in a recorded video statement shared on social media. "I share the grief of Sri Lankan people and the family of the deceased with an assurance that the culprit would be brought to task."

(with inputs from Reuters)

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