Days after a Sri Lankan national was lynched by a mob over blasphemy allegations in Sialkot, a set of explosive claims regarding the incident and true identity of the victim has surfaced.
According to Islamic scholar and preacher Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza, the victim Priyantha Kumara was actually on Nike’s payroll, and the multinational corporation had hired him to ensure quality production at the Sialkot factory.
“Kumara wasn’t an employee of the factory… he wasn’t on its payroll. He was actually on Nike’s payroll and everyone, including the owners, wanted him gone for being a strict quality controller,” the preacher claimed during a sermon while quoting factory insiders.
“People ask why didn’t the owners get involved to save Kumara’s life… they wanted him gone ever since some workers quit their jobs due to the Sri Lankan quality controller’s professionalism. They even tried to hide the video evidence of the incident from the police.”
Mirza went on to reject claims that Kumara had thrown the poster bearing holy inscriptions in the wastebin and said that the Sri Lankan national had only taken it off without even knowing it could be deemed as blasphemy.
“He apologised and it was all sorted out until people who wanted to get back at him exploited the situation which led to his lynching,” he said.
On the country’s blasphemy laws, Mirza said that he wasn’t against Section 295 (of the PPC), however, there was a need to amend the law so as to enable any accused to seek forgiveness for their intentional or unintentional actions.
“Allah himself says that He forgives anyone who repents regardless of what he or she had done or said in the past,” the preacher said while quoting the Holy Quran. He criticised authorities for their inaction due to the fear of the mob and for themselves being supporters of the persisting wave of extremism in the country.
MAINSTREAM MUSLIM SCHOLARS REACT TO INCIDENT
Meanwhile, some of Pakistan’s most senior religious scholars have vowed to ensure that all culprits involved in the lynching of the Sri Lankan national would be brought to justice.
The promise was made as the Ulema addressed a press conference flanked by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Mohan Vijay Vikrama in Islamabad on Tuesday.
A delegation of religious scholars from all sects, led by Wifaqul Madaris Al-Arabia President Mufti Taqi Usmani, had earlier met the Sri Lankan high commissioner to offer their condolences over the gruesome murder.
The scholars said their visit was to express grief over the unfortunate incident and assure the Sri Lankan government’s representative that the issue would be dealt with justly.