PESHAWAR: Underscoring the need for responsible reporting, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said the gruesome murder of Sri Lankan factory manager Diyawadanage Don Nandasri Priyantha should not be linked to any party.
The minister said this while responding to a question about the deal between the government and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) during a media briefing in Peshawar amid widespread outrage in the country after a mob of hundreds of protestors tortured and burned the body of the Sri Lankan factory manager over blasphemy allegations on Friday.
There was no link between the Sialkot lynching incident and the government's decision to relax the ban on the TLP, he added.
"Murders take place" when emotions run high in young people, Khattak said.
"Everyone has a different mindset; a mob gathered and someone chanted a slogan related to Islam that led to such an incident," Khattak added.
The minister admitted that he can also make a mistake when overcome by emotions, but added that such instances did not mean "Pakistan is on the verge of catastrophe."
The reporter then asked the minister if he was linking the alleged killings of nine police officers by TLP protesters, as well as Kumara's, to "emotions".
Khattak immediately shifted the blame to the media, declaring, "Why don't you change this mindset? Youngsters fight and murders take place [at times]. It is the job of the media to inform the youth."
"The media only accepts advertisements and makes money," an irate Khattak claimed.
Seven more suspects arrested in Sialkot lynching case
Meanwhile, seven more suspects involved in the lynching were arrested Monday, the police said.
So far, a total of 132 suspects have been arrested in connection with the Sialkot lynching case.
A statement issued by the Punjab police spokesperson said that arrested suspects Sikandar, Rashid, Ahmed Shehzad, Zohaib, Muhammad Irshad, Subhan and Umair Ali, were part of the mob that brutally murdered Priyantha.
In particular, Sikandar kept gathering people on the factory's rooftop and inciting the attack, Shehzad was armed with a stick and Zohaib was involved in planning to provoke others for violence, the spokesperson said.
He said that the latest arrests have been made with the help of CCTV camera videos and mobile phone data. Interrogation of the arrested suspects has started, he added.
Speaking about the progress in investigations of the case, 26 suspects were found to have played a key role in the gruesome murder.
He said that CM Buzdar and the Punjab inspector-general of police are continuously monitoring the investigations and process of the identification of arrested suspects is underway.
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