Ninety-seven percent of extremists apprehended: Acting Defence Minister | Daily News

Ninety-seven percent of extremists apprehended: Acting Defence Minister

Acting Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene and State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne inspected the security conditions in Minuwangoda where riots were reported on Monday. Parliamentarian Harshana Rajakaruna was also present. Picture by Hirantha Gunathilake.
Acting Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene and State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne inspected the security conditions in Minuwangoda where riots were reported on Monday. Parliamentarian Harshana Rajakaruna was also present. Picture by Hirantha Gunathi

The government has not censored the media, but requests it to act responsibly to prevent racial disharmony, Acting Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.

He said that the recent false rumours circulated in social media had created fear psychosis among people. The acting minister was addressing the media after meeting the Asgiri and Malwathu Chief Prelates to brief them on the current security situation in the country.

Acting Minister Wijewardene said 97 percent of the suspects linked to Zahran’s terrorist group had been arrested by the security forces. He said security forces were on the lookout for the remaining cadres of the terrorist groups, adding that persons who aided them—even in minor ways—were being arrested.

Acting Minister Wijewardene said the government has not interfered with the investigations.

He said Dan Priyasad, Amith Weerasinghe, and Namal Kumara were arrested to investigate their connections to the recent violent incidents in the country. He said the IGP would make a statement in that regard, shortly. The acting minister, condemning the violent incidents in Kuliyapitiya, Nattandiya, and Minuwangoda, said that those incidents obstructed the security forces’ operations to arrest the terrorists.

“Investigations on terrorists are delayed when security forces have to control these kinds of acts,” he said.

“The security forces have acted on tip-offs received from the Muslim community to arrest extremists; there are a large number of Muslims who reject extremism. When such innocents are harassed, even moderate Muslims may be pushed to extremism,” the acting minister said.


 

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