More than 100 people have been arrested in Pakistan in connection with the killing of a Sri Lankan man, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday.
Priyantha Diyawadana, a factory manager, was accused of blasphemy, and lynched by a mob in Pakistan’s Sialkot district on Friday. His body was burnt.
Unidentified police officials told AFP that rumours had been spread about the man taking down a religious poster and throwing it into a trash can.
The police are investigating if it was an act of revenge by workers of the factory that Diyawadana managed, Tahir Ashrafi, Pakistan’s special representative for religious affairs and interfaith harmony told the news agency. The workers had previously complained that Diyawadana was very strict.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had condemned the killing and urged his Pakistani counterpart to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Khan said in a tweet on Saturday that he had spoken to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to convey “our nation’s anger and shame” at the “vigilante killing”.
“I informed him [the Sri Lankan president] that over 100 have been arrested and assured him they would be prosecuted with full severity of the law.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament on Saturday that he was glad Pakistan’s prime minister “strongly condemned this brutal act”, PTI reported.
The country’s Parliament called for talks with Islamabad to ensure that other Sri Lankans working in Pakistan are safe.