Although everyone involved in the violence instigated by Easter Massacre brain Zahran Hashim have been captured so far, security could not be fully guaranteed, as the real brains behind the operation - the ones who navigated even Hashim - are still at large, Former CID Chief DIG Ravi Seneviratne told before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the attack yesterday (20).
There was a force which navigated Hashim, revealed DIG Seneviratne, adding that he had been in a battle to arrest that man until the point of his retirement.
The Easter Massacre was not a decision made by Hashim's group of extremists, but a decision of his own, the unseen power figure, he further disclosed before the Commission.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was already investigating the bomb blasts in Vavunathivu, Mawanella, Wanathawilluwa and the bicycle bomb incident in Thalamkuda, and as there were reports confirming that Hashim and his minions were behind the attacks, the CID was on the strong focus of Hashim, evidence produced before the Commission revealed.
The Senior State Counsel who handled the testimony queried Seneviratne, the witness, whether he was aware of the time when the April 21 attack was to take place.
In response, the former CID Chief said: "Zahran became active since around 2014. A decision to launch an attack had been taken during around 2016 - 2017. They had failed in the first attempt of launching an attack by deploying a group of people. In a last resort, the man named Sadhik had been instructed to vandalise the head of a Buddhist statue. When Zahran was carrying out masses about attacks, he asks the followers whether they want to become a fighter, or a suicider. As there were no space to become a fighter in Sri Lanka, those who wished to become fighters, the ones who joined these masses, had told him that they want to fight in a foreign country. But Zahran was a very aggressive man during masses. In masses, he asks the audience to raise hands if they wish to become a suicider. An attack was planned to be launched in 2020. But in 2019, he was planning to adopt another chid. Therefore, he had referred his wife to a gyneocologist. But the decision on launching an attack changed in 2019. He had told his followers that an immediate attack should be launched, but the audience denies. Contradictory opinions raise, between members. A decision to launch an attack was taken in April 09, which was a lone decision by Zahran. But no specific date had been mentioned. A specific decision was taken in around April 18. After the attack, all those involved in the violence in Zahran's group were seized. But security could not be guaranteed. Because investigations revealed that there was a person who led Zahran, even standing above him. I had been battling to find that person who led Zahran, until my point of retirement."
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