Dec 28, 2018

‘Group of extremists’ behind Mawanella incidents Featured

The vandalizing of Buddha statues in Mawanella is most likely the work of a group of extremists, community leaders told BBC Sinhala Service.

Minister Kabir Hashim, who represents the area, said the police were receiving information that four or five individuals or a group of extremists were behind it.

Police have been instructed to mete out strict punishment to the wrongdoers under the ICCPR law as a crime with malicious intent, without allowing bail, he said.

Seven suspects have been taken into custody and remanded until January 02, while two others to be arrested have been identified.

Two days ago, two youths in a motorcycle were caught by area residents while trying to damage a Buddha statue at a junction.

CID handed over the investigation

The CID has been handed over the investigation, while security has been strengthened in the area.

A Muslim activist said some of these suspects had been expelled by a community organization due to their extremist opinions.

Also, one of them had been questioned by the police several times previously.

Minister Hashim said religious leaders of the area were getting together to raise public awareness on the matter.

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