Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Baathiudeen, in a letter to IGP N.K. Illangakoon, criticised the police over the Grandpass incident saying they failed to take action when the mosque was attacked.
The Minister attached a DVD with the letter to the IGP containing CCTV footage where he says police inaction is clearly evident during the Grandpass incident.
“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 cooperation 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,” he said in the letter, a copy of which was sent to the media today.
The Minister said that there are 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 last week.
“This is not the first time that Muslims 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 to the country and its people. It would also be an indelible blot in the history of the Sri Lanka Police. These are consequences that I as a member of the Cabinet of Ministers would like to avoid,” the Minister added.
He called on the IGP to immediately launch an investigation into the failure of the Sri Lanka Police and its officers present at the scene to prevent the attack on the Mosque and residences in Grandpass and take appropriate action to apprehend the offenders who led the attack on the Mosque. (Colombo Gazette)