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June 21, 2019

Sri Lankan police officials to face criminal charges for Easter Sunday Attacks

Agencies

Colombo, Jun 21: Nine senior Sri Lankan police officials will face criminal investigations for their failure to act on the intelligence warnings, including from India, to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera directed acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Wickramaratne to conduct the probe against the officers found liable for criminal negligence during an inquiry commission appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena.

A series of coordinated blasts carried out by the banned National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ) targeted three churches and high-end hotels, killing 258 people and injuring 500 others.

India had issued a warning to the neighbouring country in early April about the possibility of attacks at various locations, including the Indian High Commission.

As a fallout of the blasts, Sirisena sacked former intelligence chief Sisira Mendis after he testified before a parliament select committee formed to probe the blasts, saying that the April 21 attacks could have been averted and President Sirisena had failed to hold regular security meetings to assess the threat from Islamic radicals.

Sirisena also suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundera and his top defense bureaucrat Hemasiri Fernando after the bombings.

However, Jayasundera, who has moved the Supreme Court against his suspension, has not been named for any criminal investigation.

A separate parliamentary probe is also underway to fix responsibility of ignoring the intelligence warnings about the impending attacks.

Sri Lankan police officials to face criminal charges for Easter Sunday Attacks

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