’Prompt action upon tip-off would have averted Easter Sunday mayhem’

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There were many among the group who had vandalised the Buddha statues in an around Mawanella, were known to me and when I inquired from them what made them commit this act, they invited me also to join their group, said Mohamed Razik Mohamed Thaslim of Mawanella who was critically injured by the alleged shooting by the extremist group suspecting him of having provided tip-off to the police.

On December 26 last year, over an incident of desecrating Buddha statues in Delgahagoda area in Mawanella, one suspect was apprehended while another fled the scene. On suspicion, Mohamed Razik Thaslim Mohamed had alerted the police. Following that, he was shot while he was sleeping in his house. He sustained critical injuries to his head and now, after being treated at the Kandy Hospital and partially recovered. He could not talk before but now he is able to.

Responding to the questions posed by the media, he stated that he knew Zahran Hashim was behind this act of vandalising the Buddha Statues and thereupon informed Minister Kabir Hashim. The latter wanted the security units were alerted.

He said several suspects are being apprehended almost everyday and statements recorded. These statements state that Sahith and Sadeek, the duo who vandalized the statues and he was convinced that Zahran was behind this.

When Sadeek was questioned as to why they had committed this act which would create an upheaval in the country, he replied saying it was their faith that taught them to do so.

Mohamed Thaslim in February said that he had informed about Sahith and Sadeek to the police team led by IP Marasinghe who came from Colombo, that the duo having had a hand in in the offence at the first instance.

The police team was informed even by the Minister to search for the suspects. Though they agreed, it ended in failure. If they had acted promptly on the tip off and taken action, the April 21 carnage could have easily been been averted, he lamented.

He appealed for sustenance, as he has no means of livelihood at present.