The cleric had been releasing videos in a manner that harms reconciliation in Sri Lanka. He is presently remanded till May 14. The accused is a resident of Vavuniya. He was arrested after his arrival from Mecca after performing Hajj
Colombo: A 47-year old Muslim cleric was arrested on Saturday (May 11) at the Bandaranaike International Airport. He was wanted by the Sri Lankan security forces for using social media platforms to air extremist views.
The cleric had been releasing videos in a manner that harms reconciliation in the country. He is presently remanded till May 14. According to reports, the accused is a resident of Vavuniya. He was arrested after his arrival from Mecca after performing Hajj.
The arrest of the cleric came days after the Sri Lankan government said the trustees of all the mosques in the country should not engage in or allow any gathering to promote or propagate hatred and also directed them to send the audio recordings of the sermons to authorities.
The government's order was after security forces recovered swords and other weapons from mosques during search operations following the April 21 bomb blasts.
Multiple bomb attacks were carried out on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. Following the serial blasts in Sri Lanka's Colombo that killed hundreds of people, the Sri Lankan police found 87 bomb detonators at Colombo's main bus stand.
Seven suicide bombers were involved in eight blasts that targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in Negombo and Zeon Church in Batticaloa when the Easter Sunday mass was in progress. The explosions also struck three five-star hotels in Colombo, the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury.
The terror group ISIS had claimed responsibility of the Sri Lanka bombings; however, authorities in the country suspect that a local terror group, National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) could be behind the attacks.
The security forces are conducting round the clock security operations since the attack in the crackdown on radical Muslims with links to the bombings.
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Last Updated May 13, 2019, 9:52 AM IST