HR body seeks speedy justice in Sialkot tragedy

Published December 5, 2021
This image shows the body of Priyantha Kumara being moved to Allama Iqbal Teaching Hospital for an autopsy. — Dawn
This image shows the body of Priyantha Kumara being moved to Allama Iqbal Teaching Hospital for an autopsy. — Dawn

ISLAMABAD: Condemning the lynching of Sri Lankan factory manager Nanadasi Priyanth Kumara in Sialkot, the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) on Saturday demanded speedy and impartial inquiry of the incident.

“We, at the commission, are deeply perturbed by the brutal mob violence and blatant violation of human rights, especially against a guest in our country. It is unfortunate that the commission is issuing its very first introduction statement over such a horrific incident that has shaken the whole nation. We believe that no civilised country can allow such an act, and the state should take the strictest possible measures to ensure speedy justice,” the statutory body said.

“At this time of grief, NCHR would like to ensure that the commission stood with the aggrieved family of Nanadasi Priyanth Kumara and demanded an impartial, in-depth and speedy probe of the incident, the late response of the police and lack of security.”

NCHR said it was following the progress being made in investigating the case with all concerned departments. In a letter written to Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, the NCHR has demanded a high-power investigation committee and exemplary punishment to the perpetrators to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.

The commission also called for strategic measures to address increasing extremism and systemic rise of mob violence and urged religious leaders and scholars, social activists, community leaders and political parties to play their role in tackling any kind of extremism in society.

NCHR Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha said: “At the onset my heart goes out to the family of Nanadasi Priyanth Kumara. In one’s worst nightmare, one cannot possibly imagine what it must feel like to see the person you love tortured, violated and killed in the most inhuman way possible.”

She said the Sialkot incident should be a wake-up call to reassess the direction that the youth of Pakistan were heading towards.

“It is not about religion but the growth of violent extremism, defiance of law and ignorance. We have suffocated the soft power of art, music and culture. Social and cultural norms that celebrate power and resolutions of conflicts through violence will find release through child abuse, gender violence and mob madness such as this,” she said.

NCHR is a statuary body set up to monitor, create awareness and protect the universal value of human rights, promote humanitarian culture and curb violations of human rights without discrimination.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2021

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