Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has demanded a high level investigation into the alleged failure on the part of the police to disperse mobs responsible for causing damage to a mosque and several houses at Grandpass recently.
Minister Bathiudeen has also forwarded a DVD containing CCTV footage depicting what he called police inaction, while reminding IGP N. K. Illangakoon that the latter assured an impartial investigation if evidence was produced to substantiate the allegation.
The following is Minister Bathiudeen’s letter to the IGP: “This is further to the meeting at the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, held on August 11, 2013, chaired by Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena and A. H. M. Fowzie. I wish to thank you for assuring a prompt and impartial investigation on Police inaction at Grandpass if evidence is placed at your disposal.
“I enclose herewith a DVD containing CCTV footage where police inaction is clearly evident. Given your verbal assurance, at the said meeting, to look into allegations of police inaction, I forward the enclosed DVD for your attention and necessary action.In addition to this, there are several residents in the area who are themselves eye witnesses to police inaction. Muslims view the inaction on the part of the police as co-operation in the attacks on the Mosque.
As an elected representative in this government, I find these allegations disturbing and a matter of serious concern. I also find the evidence against the police overwhelming and warranting a high level investigation/inquiry.
“There are also a number of eye witnesses who had seen armed hoodlums attack the Mosque, enter the sacred precincts of the place of worship, attack the worshippers and thereafter getting away under the watchful eye of a number of police personnel on duty around the Mosque.
“This is not the first tame that Muslim and non-Muslims have made allegations that the Sri Lanka Police has failed to perform its duties impartially when it comes to disadvantaged groups. Failing to address this issue and continuing this trend of attacks will not only be an encouragement to those who wish to create conflict within Sri Lanka but will be a permanent blemish on the country and its people. It would also be an indelible blot in the history of the Sri Lanka Police. These are consequence that I as a member of the Cabinet of Ministers would like to avoid.
“Therefore, I am confident that you will honour your assurance and commitment and immediately launch an investigation/inquiry into the failure of the Sri Lanka Police and its officer present at the scene, to prevent the attack on the Mosque and residences in Grandpass, Colombo 14 on August 10, 2013, and to take appropriate action to apprehend the offenders who led the attack on the Mosque.
“If you need any further assistance in this regard please do not hesitate to contact me personally.
“The citizens of this country look forward to an early and decisive action on your part.”