The body of slain Priyantha Kumara has been sent to the Lahore airport for repatriation to Sri Lanka.

Kumara’s body will be flown to Colombo on Monday (today) where his last rites will be performed. A plane from Sri Lanka carrying the body will take off from the airport at 12:30 pm.

Sri Lankan embassy officials collected the body from hospital early in the morning and laid flowers on the coffin.

The body was brought to Lahore from Sialkot on Sunday. Minister for Minority Affairs Ijaz Alam was among the high-ranking officials who received the body. He represented Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar who had to go to Islamabad for an important meeting.

Kumara had been working in a Sialkot factory since 2012. He was lynched on Friday by a mob after being accused of blasphemy. Later, his body was dragged outside the factory and set on fire.

MORE ARRESTS: The Punjab police on Monday announced the arrest of seven more prime suspects allegedly involved in the lynching of 49-year-old Sri Lankan factory manager Kumara, taking the total number of arrests to 131.

A first information report was registered against 900 workers of Rajco Industries on the application of Uggoki Station House Officer (SHO) under sections 302, 297, 201, 427, 431, 157, 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 7 and 11WW of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The applicant admitted that the protesters had slapped, kicked, punched and hit Kumara with sticks in his presence, and dragged him out of the factory on Wazirabad Road where he died. They then set the body on fire. The SHO said he was helpless in front of the mob owing to shortage of personnel.

The police added that out of the 131 people arrested, 26 played a “central role” in the brutal killing.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and the inspector general of police were continuously monitoring the investigation and the secretary prosecution was tasked with the prosecution of the case, said a statement.

“These suspects will be presented in an anti-terrorism court today,” the statement said.

A spokesperson for the Punjab police said the process to identify the suspects was ongoing.

PM TO HONOUR RESCUER: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that the man who tried to save the Sri Lankan during lynching incident will be awarded the Tamgha-i-Shujaat — the second-highest civil award for bravery bestowed by Pakistan government.

“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.


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