He said that the two accused brothers were in close contact with Saharan and was aware of his hideouts.
However, he said that several police teams under his direction had managed to arrest 13 suspects in connection with the damaging of Buddhist, Hindu and Catholic statues who were found to be connected to the Muslim extremist Thawheed Jama’ad organization.
The DIG said that these two suspects and their father Rasheed Mohamed Ibrahim are currently in police custody, adding that a police team directed by him had made the arrests.
He said once the father was arrested, a stock of explosives were recovered from a house belonging to him in the Mawanella, Hingula area.
DIG Siriwardena said that at the time the statues were being vandalized in Mawanella, Saharan had been there and he had directed the two brothers in this destructive act.
Went to Kattankudy to arrest Saharan
He further stated that a police team had been sent to Kattankudy to arrest Saharan on December 31, 2018, but the Grama Sevaka had notified him in a letter that Saharan had not been seen in the area since 2017.
On a tip-off that the two suspects are in hiding in a land in Wanathawilluwa, the relevant land was search by a group of police officers where 100 kg of explosives was detected together with 700 detonators. The DIG revealed that four suspects had been arrested during the raid and a court order had been obtained to detain them for a period of three months for interrogation.
Accordingly, after interrogation Nafeez Mohamed Nafreed and Mohamed were released after two months.