75 arrested in Sri Lanka anti-Muslim riots

International Desk Published: 15 May 2019, 09:37 AM
75 arrested in Sri Lanka anti-Muslim riots
Heavily-armed police ride past the Jumha mosque, which was attacked by rioters in the town of Minuwangoda.

A total of 75 suspects have been arrested so far in connection with the anti-Muslim riots which took place on Monday in the North Western Province, and the Minuwangoda area, Sri Lankan Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said on Tuesday. 

While pointing out that more than 60 individuals were arrested over the riots in the North Western Province, the Spokesman said that 15 suspects who were arrested over the unruly scenes in Minwangoda have been remanded until May 29.

Further, nine suspects who were directly involved in the unrest which broke out in the Hettipola area, and 10 suspects involved in the Kuliyapitiya unrest have been remanded until May 27.

Three persons who were arrested for sharing content on social media which provoked communal violence, were arrested in Matara and have been remanded until May 27, the Police Spokesman announced today. Suspects who have not been subjected to a trial as of yet will be produced before court in due course, he said.

Mr. Gunasekara told the press that cases against the suspects have been filed under the Emergency Regulations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

On the same lines he stressed that these suspects could be granted bail by the High Court alone. Suspects who are found guilty could face upto 10 years of imprisonment, Spokesman Gunasekara explained.

Issuing a statement, the Police Spokesman added that a special police team comprising two DIG's from Colombo, a Superintendent, and eight assistant superintendents, have been deployed to investigate into yesterday's incidents.

Another Special Police Unit functioning under the supervision of Police Superintendents has also been set-up by the Police Headquarters to apprehend the individuals involved in yesterday's scenes of violence.

Source: The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka