Pakistan to give bravery award to man who tried to save Priyantha

  • PM Khan assures Prez Rajapaksa justice will be served
  • 120 arrested, including 13 prime suspects

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced yesterday (5) that the man who tried saving the Sri Lankan national during last week’s 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 the moral courage and bravery of Malik Adnan who tried his utmost to shelter and save Priyantha Diyawadana from the vigilante mob in Sialkot, (including) endangering his own life by physically trying to shield the victim. We will award him Tamgha-i-Shujaat,” PM Khan shared on his Twitter account.

Video footage has shown a man clad in a red sweater – identified as Malik Adnan – jumping in and trying 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.

As pressure mounted on the Pakistani Government to bring the guilty to justice, over 800 people have been booked under terrorism charges while 13 prime suspects are among 118 arrested so far in the horrific lynching of the Sri Lankan national in Punjab Province, a top police official said last Saturday (4).

On Saturday, PM Khan announced that he had spoken to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and assured him of justice.

“Spoke to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today in the UAE to convey our nation’s anger and shame to people of Sri Lanka at the vigilante killing of Priyantha Diyawadana in Sialkot. I informed him 100-plus people were arrested and assured him they would be prosecuted with full severity of the law,” he Tweeted.

As of yesterday (5), a total of 124 suspects, among which are 19 key suspects, were arrested in connection with the incident, according to Pakistani media.

The killing occurred after angry supporters of Pakistan’s hardline Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) attacked a garment factory and lynched Diyawadana, its General Manager, before setting his body on fire.

(With inputs from PTI and other agencies)