Suspected extremists shoot at Hashim’s coordinating secretary

Gun shooting

Suspected members of an extremist group shot and seriously wounded an official working for a cabinet minister in Mawanella yesterday, Police said.

Mohamed Razak Taslim (37) was asleep when two persons arrived at his home at Dhanagama Mawatha before dawn yesterday. One of them pulled out a pistol and fired at him at point blank range. Mr. Taslim is now lying at the Intensive Care Unit of the Kandy National Hospital.

Mr. Taslim is described as a Coordinating Secretary to Highways and Investment Promotion Minister Kabir Hashim. The minister was scheduled to provide development assistance to several Buddhist temples in a string of ceremonies yesterday.

Police said Mr. Taslim was known to have assisted Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detectives who had probed activities of an extremist group in Mawanella. This group had campaigned for attacks on religious statues, including Buddha statues and crosses.

The Police were yesterday reviewing surveillance video footage to identify the assailants.

President Maithripala Sirisena had telephoned Minister Hashim yesterday to ascertain what has happened. He had also advised him to exercise caution.

(Source: The Sunday Times)