“They have been all been produced in court and remanded. Investigations are underway to arrest all others who had engaged in violence with the assistance of video footage obtained by the police. Among the 78 suspects arrested are employees of the state and private sector,” the Police spokesman said.
“We will be taking measures to notify the companies that these suspects are employed at, regardless of whether they are employed in the state sector or private sector and we will provide all their details so that the institutions they work in can also take disciplinary action against them for engaging in violent and destructive behaviour,” SP Gunasekara said.
He said in order to bring the situation under control the police had to deploy over 5,500 police personnel to the Wayamba Province.
“We had to remove them from clerical duties, judicial and all other duties. Similarly, officers deployed for drug and alcohol raids were also deployed to bring this situation under control. The Tri forces and Civil Defence Force have rendered their fullest support to the police in maintaining peace.
The CID and TID investigations are successfully being carried out with regard to the Easter Sunday terror attacks, under a Senior DIG. Of those arrested, 65 suspects are being held under the CID and interrogated. Among them are eight females. Another 20 suspects are being held by the TID. Among them there are two females.
Further, the female who sustained injuries during the Saithdamarudu,Kalmunai explosions Abdul Carder Fathima Sadiya, the wife of suicide bomber Mohommed Zaharan is currently in CID custody. She is being provided medical treatment and her child is also with her as there is no one to take custody of the child.
The van that was used to transport the suicide bomber to the Kochchikade church was exploded by the STF. The person believed to have been connected with the suicide bomber and who had been part of purchasing and modifying the said van was identified by several informants and based on their description, the Police had released sketches of him. Based on information received, this suspect was also arrested. He is a resident of New Kattankudy and identified as Mohommed Adam Lebbe. He is also held by the CID and is being interrogated.
Police have so far arrested a large number of suspects directly involved in the terror attacks and several others who had aided and abated them.
So far the Police have also discovered 17 safe houses used by the terror group. These are from Katuwapitiya-Negombo, Sarikkamulla-Panadura, St. Anthonies Road-Colombo 3, Templer’s Road-Mount Lavinia, Wanathawilluwa, Enderamulla-Wattala, Mayura Place-Colombo 06, Saindamarudu nine, Malwana, Kalagedihena-Thihariya, Daluwakotuwa-Kochchikade, Walachchna-Ridiyatenna, Subarathipura-Kuliyapitiya, Hettipola, Katupotha, Nindavur and Samanthurai.
Further, the Police have discovered seven locations used by the terror group for training and seminars, lectures etc in Wanathawilluwa, Hambantota, Nuwara Eliya, Nuwara Aruppola, Malwana, Kaththankudy and Walachchenai.
Police had declared a time frame to notify them about the possession of illegal explosives etc without proper licenses. However, this amnesty period would be extended until 6a.m. on May 20. After May 20, the Police would launch a massive search operation to arrest those in possession of illegal explosives.
Meanwhile, a Police curfew was re-enforced in the Gampaha Police Division and North Western Province with effect from 7 p.m. yesterday and was lifted at 4.00 a.m. today (16).
Meanwhile, the Operations Director of the Anti-Corruption organization who was arrested in the Warakapola Police Division on May 14 was handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for questioning.
The arrest was made to question them regarding their connection with the unruly behavior that occurred a few days ago.