Sialkot lynching: PM announces Tamgha-i-Shujaat for man who tried to save Sri Lankan national

    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that the man who tried saving the Sri Lankan national during the recent lynching incident will be awarded the Tamgha i Shujaat — the second-highest civil award for bravery bestowed by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    “On behalf of the nation, I want to salute moral courage & bravery of Malik Adnan who tried his utmost to shelter & save Priyantha Diyawadana from the vigilante mob in Sialkot, [including] endangering his own life by physically trying to shield victim. We will award him Tamgha i Shujaat,” the premier wrote on Twitter.

    It should be noted that following Friday’s incident when Diyawadanage Don Nandasri Priyantha — a manager in a factory — was lynched by an angry mob and his body was set ablaze following “blasphemy” allegations, footage showing Good Samaritans attempting to save him and later, his body, from the violent group had emerged on social media.

    A man clad in a red sweater — identified as Malik Adnan — jumped in and tried to save his colleague Priyantha as the mob thrashed him. He formed a protective shield over him with his own body and bore the beating for a while but was unable to continue putting up resistance after a point.

    After Priyantha was killed, another man, wearing a black jacket, could be seen joining his palms together and pleading to the mob to spare the body and not set it on fire. But he was tossed aside by the vicious crowd.

    On the other hand, the Punjab government has also announced to grant a human rights award to Malik Adnan for demonstrating bravery and courage.

    “Malik Adnan will be given the award on December 10, which is the International Human Rights Day,” Provincial Minister for Human Rights Ijaz Masih said.

    “Malik Adnan made every effort to save the Sri Lankan manager. I am happy that he has set the best example of humanity.”

    Speaking to the media on Sunday, Malik Adnan thanked the media for “being on the right side” and said that his act of bravery presented “a soft image of Pakistan.”

    He said that he is thankful to Prime Minister Imran Khan for awarding him with the prestigious accolade.

    Speaking about the deceased manager as a colleague, Adnan said that he was a “very fine man,” but he used to be “strict in matters related to work.”

    Recalling the day of the incident, Adnan said that he was attending a meeting when the lynching started happening, adding that he received a call informing him that Priyantha had scolded someone in the factory.

    PM Imran Khan has also assured Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that Pakistan would ensure justice following the tragic Sialkot lynching which occurred a day earlier.

    The prime minister, in a tweet on Saturday, said he conveyed the nation’s anger and shame to the people of Sri Lanka at the killing of Priyantha.

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