Punjab police identify 40 new suspects


  • Punjab police say suspects identified with help of different videos.
  • Say most newly identified suspects were outsiders, including residents of villages near factory.
  • Sialkot DPO says investigations revealed role of another prime suspect, Saboor Butt, in provoking and gathering factory workers for attack.

A total of 40 new suspects have been identified during the investigation into the lynching of Sri Lankan factory manager Diyawadanage Don Nandasri Priyantha in Sialkot last week, Geo News reported Wednesday.

The police said that the suspects were identified with the help of different videos. They said that most of the newly identified suspects were outsiders, including residents of villages near the factory.

They further stated that several raids were conducted after details regarding the suspects surfaced.

“The newly identified suspects will be arrested soon,” the police said.

The Sialkot district police officer (DPO), meanwhile, revealed that a prime suspect named Saboor Butt had provoked the factory workers against Priyantha and gathered them for the attack.

A video shows Priyantha and Butt in the factory’s stitching hall which the deceased factory worker had visited right before being lynched.

The DPO said that Saboor Butt is currently in police custody on a physical remand and is being interrogated.

The role of other suspects in the incident is also being identified, he added.

Court remands 26 suspects to police custody

As of Monday, 26 suspects arrested in connection with the case were remanded to police custody.

The police requested an anti-terrorism court in Gujranwala to grant a 15-day remand of the suspects for interrogation, which the court accepted and ordered the investigation officer to present them on December 12.

So far, a total of 131 suspects have been arrested in connection with the Sialkot lynching case.

According to the Punjab police spokesperson, 26 suspects were found to have played a key role in the gruesome murder.

He had earlier said that CM Buzdar and the Punjab inspector-general of police are continuously monitoring the investigation and the process of identification of arrested suspects is continuing.

The lynching

Diyawadana Priyantha, working as a manager at a private factory in Sialkot, was lynched last Friday by a mob after being accused of blasphemy.

The gruesome incident was dubbed by Prime Minister Imran Khan as “a day of shame for Pakistan”.

Workers of a garment industry, located on Sialkot’s Wazirabad Road, had alleged that the foreigner had committed blasphemy. He was subsequently lynched and his body set on fire.

The mob had also vandalised the factory and blocked traffic, according to the police.

The brutal murder drew widespread condemnation from senior government functionaries, including the prime minister and president, as well as the military’s top leadership, who promised to bring all those involved to the book.

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