An anti-terrorism court in Lahore on Monday gave the death sentence to six persons involved in the lynching of a Sri Lankan citizen, Dawn reported. The court also sentenced nine other accused persons to life.

Priyantha Diyawadana, a factory manager, was lynched by a mob in Pakistan’s Sialkot district on December 3, 2021. He was accused of blasphemy based on the rumours that he was taking down a religious poster and throwing it into a trash can.

In Pakistan, blasphemy or the act of speaking profanely about god or sacred things is punishable by death.

The lynching drew criticism from various political and academic circles in Pakistan. They had called for swift action against the perpetrators.

Seventy-two people accused in the case were sentenced to jail for two years, said Punjab Prosecution Department Secretary Nadeem Sarwar, Dawn reported. Eight of the accused are minors.

The judge ordered the six prime suspects, who were sentenced to death, to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the family of the deceased and pay another Rs 2 lakh as a fine.