Information Muslims provided about Zaharan group ignored - Mosque Federation leader


President of the Federation of Kanthankudi Mosques and Muslim Institutions, Abdul Uvaiz, yesterday, told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage that people of Kaththankudy had stood up to the Zahran's terror group but the law enforcement and defence authorities had failed to take timely action.

Giving evidence before the PSC, Uvaiz said that if the security authorities had acted swiftly on information they got from the people of Kathankudy, the Easter Sunday carnage could have been avoided.

Zahran should have been arrested while he was propagating extremism and investigations conducted years ago, Uvaiz said.

Zahran came from a poor background and, in 2017, he and his fellow fanatics had carried out an attack on other Islamists in Kantathankudi, Uvaiz said. "They used weapons such as swords, knives and sticks. The question many of our people ask today is how Zahran's group found men, material and finances to carry out a major attack.

Defence Secretary Shantha Kottegoda and the Chief of State Intelligence Sisira Mendis were summoned before the PSC to testify on May 29.

Former defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara testified before the committee on June 6.

Former Chief Terrorist Investigation Division Nalaka de Silva gave evidence on June 4. (SI)

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