Written by Zulfick Farzan
22 Oct, 2020 | 10:34 am
Colombo (News 1st); Former Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara said the process to arrest Zaharan Hashim, the mastermind responsible for the 2019 April Terror Attacks, was weakened following the arrest of DIG Nalaka Silva who served as the head of the Terrorist Investigation Division.
In his testimony to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the 2019 April 21st Terror Attacks, Pujith Jayasundara said the arrest of DIG Nalaka Silva had mentally affected the entire police service in Sri Lanka.
The former IGP conceded there was insufficient security at the St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade to prevent an attack and told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry only two police officers were stationed near the church for security on the day of the bombings.
However, Jayasundara told the commission the security was at a satisfactory level in areas such as Kelaniya, Dematagoda, Gampaha, Mirihana, Mount Lavinia, and Bambalapitiya, and certain incidents were prevented as a result of that move.
The witness observed investigations carried out following the bombings had highlighted the shortcomings of the Police Superintendent in charge of Colombo on taking relevant action and communicating information.
He pointed out the focus at the time was on the daily environmental cleaning process.
Attorney at law Madu Jayathilaka appearing for DIG Nilantha Jayawardena who served as the former director of the State Intelligence Service suggested the attacks could have been prevented if the witness had taken appropriate action to address these problems in his capacity as the Inspector General of Police.
However, the former IGP refuted the suggestion and blamed those shortcomings on the downfall of the system.
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