STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

2019 Sri Lanka blasts: Ex-minister Rishad Bathiyudeen, brother to be detained for 90 days

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said that the police investigations had focused on the close contacts of the suicide bombers who carried out the attacks at luxury hotels in Colombo and three churches.

Published: 27th April 2021 12:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2021 12:08 PM   |  A+A-

Ex-Sri Lankan minister Rishad Bathiudeen

Ex-Sri Lankan minister Rishad Bathiudeen (Photo| Facebook)

By PTI

COLOMBO: The arrested former Sri Lankan minister Rishad Bathiyudeen and his brother would be detained for 90 days under the stiff anti-terrorism law to conduct further probe into their role in allegedly aiding and abetting the suicide bombers responsible for the deadly 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, police said on Tuesday.

Rishad, a former minister of Industry and Commerce and the leader of a minority Muslim party that is part of the main Opposition party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), and his brother Riyaj Bathiudeen were arrested on April 24 from their respective residences. "They were arrested after the scrutiny of bank accounts, cheque transactions and communication lines," the senior deputy inspector general and the police spokesman Ajith Rohana said.

Rohana said the police investigations had focused on the close contacts of the suicide bombers who carried out the attacks at luxury hotels in Colombo and three churches. "Some of them had maintained close contacts with the bombers," Rohana said.

He said that 274 people were killed with 542 more being injured in the blasts. A total of 11 Indians were among the dead. "The attackers died but the police attention was on those who motivated them," Rohana said.

He said a total of 702 persons were in custody with 202 of them being remanded. 83 more are being detained for questioning at the police's CID and the Terrorism Investigation Division. Rishad's lawyers claimed that the arrest was politically motivated as the special presidential panel to probe the Easter Sunday attack had not named them for aiding and abetting Islamic extremists.

Nine suicide bombers, belonging to local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) linked to ISIS, carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday on April 21, 2019.

In May last year, Riyaj was arrested for making contacts with suicide bombers and given bail in October. Rishad was arrested in October and given bail in November over the misappropriation of state resources.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp