Netizens of South Asian nations have welcomed the verdict in the case pertaining to the lynching of Sri Lankan citizen Priyantha Kumara over blasphemy allegations in Pakistan last year.
An anti-terrorism court in Gujranwala on Monday awarded death sentence to six culprits on top of 14-year-jail to seven others. The court also sentenced 76 accused to two years in jail for their involvement in the case.
Earlier, a total of 89 men, including nine juveniles, had been indicted in the murder case of the Sri Lankan national lynched by a frenzied mob at the factory he managed in Sialkot
“The prosecution team presented a total of 43 witnesses in order to prove the crime against suspects,” Punjab Prosecution Department Secretary Nadeem Sarwar said in a press conference.
“In less than a month, the prosecution completed the testimonies of witnesses. After that, the court gave them full chance to defend themselves. Today, the ATC Gujranwala, upon the crime being proven, has punished 88 accused while one has been acquitted.”
“This is a very good day as the law punished those who took away an innocent life. It is now hoped that the elements spreading religious extremism will be dealt with in the same manner.”
Blasphemy is a sensitive subject in Pakistan where strict laws prescribe a mandatory death penalty for the crime. Mere blasphemy allegations often provoke mob violence and lynching of suspects as witnessed in the Priyantha Kumara incident that took place last December.
All eyes were on Pakistani courts ever since after the brutal death of the Sri Lankan national that had sparked outrage across Pakistan and drawn strong reactions from the global community.
Here’s how netizens are reacting to the verdict:
Bandhini Fernando, a Sri Lankan student, took to Twitter to thank Pakistan.
“Thnq #Pakistan for the justice given to the #PriyanthaKumara.: Pakistan Court awards death sentence to 6, life imprisonment to 7 accused [sic],” she stated.
— bandhini fernando (@BandhiniF) April 19, 2022
“In India, lynching leads to awarded by minister,” an Asad Malik, an Indian Muslim, tweeted.
Lynching leads to awarded by minister
— Asad Malik (@asadbth) April 19, 2022
“Salute to lady judge Natasha Nasim! #justiceprevails,” stated Syed Fahad Ghazi Hamadani, an Islamabad-based lawyer.
Priyantha Kumara case verdict has been announced , he was alleged for blasphemy and the mob burned his body over on December 3, 2021 in a local factory at Sialkot
— Syed Fahad Ghazi Hamadani (@SyedFah14598188) April 18, 2022
In a Facebook post, the chairman of Minorities Alliance Pakistan, Akmal Bhatti, also welcomed the verdict.
Meanwhile, ‘Priyantha Kumara‘ continues to trend on Twitter.