By Rathindra Kuruwita
Police said yesterday the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) had arrested Amith Jeevan Weerasinghe, alleged to be one of the masterminds of the communal unrest in Kandy and nine others, in predawn raids in Digana and Poojapitiya.
The TID also arrested Weerasinghe’s second in command Sureda Suraweera. They are accused of spreading misinformation that led to communal violence, organising violent mobs that attack persons and property and using social media to incite violence.
“What you should note is that only two of them are residents of the Kandy District. All others are outsiders,” said Police Spokesperson Superintendent Ruwan Gunasekera.
He said the TID was questioning the ten suspects and ascertaining information about the violent acts they had carried out.
“I am sure they will tell us who is behind these acts and we will reveal this to the public soon. We will take action against them under the Emergency Ordinance no 1 of 2018.”
Altogether police and the TID have arrested 81 persons for being involved in the communal strife. Police have also received 45 complaints of damage caused to houses and commercial properties, out of which 16 were in Pallekele and 18 from Teldeniya. Seven reports of religious places were either damaged or destroyed. “There have also been 11 cases of damage caused to vehicles and 11 persons were injured and two killed. Eleven persons were injured on Wednesday when a grenade in possession of a mob exploded in Poojapitiya and one person, who is believed to have carried the bomb was killed.”
Kandy Police also arrested four persons on Wednesday night for violating the curfew and those who were arrested can be imprisoned for up to seven years. “They were produced before the Kandy Magistrate, who remanded them till March 21,” the Police Spokesman said, adding that 3,000 policemen and 750 STF personnel had been deployed in Kandy.
“There was only one minor incident on Thursday during early hours. Some people who came on motorcycles tried to stone a place of worship. When the policemen near by rushed in they had run away leaving one motorcycle behind. We traced the owner of the motorcycle and arrested three persons who were involved in the incident. Two of them were from Karandeniya and Meerigama who work in private institutions in Colombo.:
Gunasekera added that a CID team led by a DIG and several other probe teams, also led by DIGs had been sent to the affected areas.