Sri Lanka police arrest 81 suspects including the mastermind over the anti-Muslim clashes

Police Media Spokesman Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara says that 81 suspects, who instigated communal clashes in the central Kandy district were arrested during the past few days.

Police Media Spokesman said that ten persons including the alleged mastermind of the attacks in the Kandy area were arrested by the Police Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) at Digana and Poojapiitiya yesterday.

The main suspect, who initiated the anti-Muslim riots, Vidana Patharanage Amith Jeewan Weerasinghe was among the arrested persons, the Police Media Spokesman said.

Main suspect’s chief assistant Nasnaram Pattiyage Sureda Suraweera was also arrested, the spokesman said.

Extremist Sinhala Buddhist groups attacked Muslim establishments, including mosques and residences after a Buddhist man was attacked by a group of Muslims during an altercation and later died.

As a result of the communal clashes two people died and more than 200 Muslim-owned shops and properties were destroyed. Four Muslim places of worship have been attacked.

About 45 incidents of attacks have been reported and the Police are conducting investigations, the Spokesman said.

Meanwhile curfew will be imposed today at 06.00 pm until 6.00 am Friday in the area, the police said.

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