The Body of Sri Lankan Manager Who was Lynched in Pakistan Flown Home
Lynching In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan described the vigilante attack as a "day of shame for Pakistan."
Pakistan returned the remains of a Sri Lankan factory manager who was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob after being accused of blasphemy.
The vigilante attack has sparked outrage, prompting Prime Minister Imran Khan to declare it a "day of shame for Pakistan."
Few issues in the country are polarising as blasphemy, and even the slightest hint of an insult to Islam can spark protests and lynchings.
Priyantha Diyawadana was killed on Friday in Sialkot's central district, Punjab province, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Islamabad.
"The body of the Sri Lankan manager has been airlifted and sent to Colombo," Tahir Ashrafi, a religious scholar and the prime minister's special representative on religious harmony, told AFP.
According to Sialkot police spokesman Khurram Shehzad, 131 people have been arrested so far, including 26 prime suspects who have been remanded in custody.
Several gruesome video clips circulated on social media showed a mob beating the prone victim while chanting anti-blasphemy slogans.
Many people in the crowd made no attempt to conceal their identities, and some even took selfies in front of the burning body.
However, Prime Minister Khan announced that a bravery medal would be awarded to a man who risked his own life to save Diyawadana.
It will be the first time that the award has been given in a case involving blasphemy.
According to local police, rumors circulated that Diyawadana had "ripped down a religious poster and thrown it in the trash."
According to Ashrafi, workers had also complained about the manager being "very strict."
"Police experts are investigating this case from multiple angles, including the possibility that some factory workers used a religious card to exact revenge on the manager," he said over the weekend.
According to human rights organizations, accusations of blasphemy are frequently used to settle personal vendettas, with minorities being the primary target.
In 2014, a Christian couple was lynched and then burned in a kiln in Punjab after being falsely accused of desecration of the Koran.
Mashal Khan, a university student, was killed in April 2017 by an enraged mob after he was accused of posting blasphemous content online.
Only last month, thousands of people set fire to a police station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, demanding that officers hand over a man accused of burning the Koran.