Written by Staff Writer
25 Sep, 2019 | 9:49 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – Why did officials fail to take steps to prevent the gruesome suicide attacks of 04/21 by a group of extremists headed by Zahran Hashim?
A 7-member panel comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya demanded explanations from the attorney of the IGP (Sent-on-Compulsory-Leave) Pujith Jayasundara.
The bench raised the question when considering 12 fundamental rights petitions that request charges to be filed against the IGP, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and the Prime Minister along with the Cabinet of Ministers.
The bench stated that an order had been given to the Officers-in-Charge of Police Stations to tighten security on account of the information provided by the Director of State Intelligence, conveyed via phone call on the mornings of April 20th and 21st, that the effects of such an attack could have been minimized.
The bench also queried as to whether the role of the IGP does not go beyond merely issuing a letter to junior officers, instead of going to the extent of advising that steps be taken to provide serious orders to junior officers while also monitoring the said actions.
The bench further stated that some information should have been given to the Cardinal and the Catholic Council, as well as priests heading churches.
The bench also elaborated that both the Inspector General and former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence could have taken steps to use the special units such as the Police Special task Force and Army Units so that they could have been directed in a planned manner.
Responding to the claims by the bench, the attorney representing Pujith Jayasundara, while accepting that his client did receive information regarding the attack, added that as there was no certain information on where the attacks could take place, that his client avoided revealing such information into an open forum as it was unsuitable to do so.
His lawyer further added that his client had passed on the intel to officers who were better versed in the area of counter-terrorism, including the Senior Deputy Inspector General in charge of the Police Special Task Force and four other Senior DIG’s.
Further consideration of the petitions were postponed to tomorrow.
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