No mercy for anyone involved in Easter Sunday terror attacks – Chamal

Chamal Rajapaksa

The Government will not spare anyone proven to be involved in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Irrigation and State Minister of Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management Minister Chamal Rajapaksa told Parliament yesterday.

Denying allegations against the Government, Minister Rajapaksa pointed out that the release of former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s brother Riyaj from Police detention probing the Easter Sunday terror attacks does not mean that the suspect is vindicated from all charges. The Minister pointed out that the same suspect would be taken into custody, if new evidence linked to him surfaces.

Responding to a question raised by Samagi Jana Balavegaya Badulla District MP Chaminda Wijesiri, the minister said that Riyaj had been taken into custody on April 14, this year on suspicion of the latter’s connections with Insaf Ahmed, the terrorist who committed suicide at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo during the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

“As per the call records, there were 17 calls made by the suspect to the terrorist. The suspect had been detained under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act for three days for questioning and thereafter obtained the permission of courts twice for three months each. The investigators had found that the suspect and the terrorist had had no terror links. The calls had been made for business purposes. There is no evidence to prove that the suspect aided and abetted the terrorist to carry out the attacks.Therefore, he was released on September 29, 2020. The last call they had made was three months prior to the attacks. However, if there is new evidence, he would be arrested again,” the Minister said.

MP Wijesiri said that when the suspect was nabbed, the Police Spokesman stated that the Police had evidence to prove that the suspect aided and abetted the terrorists by transporting explosives. “Now, after a couple of months, the same Police Spokesman says that there is no evidence. What statement are we to believe? Imagine the plight of the person who was under custody if he is innocent and the ordeal he had undergone- not only him but also his family members too. What action would the government take against the Policeman whose double standard on the matter is exposed?” the MP demanded to know from the minister.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen MARASINGHE, Camelia Nathaniel and Amali Mallawaarachchi)