Sri Lanka reimposes curfew as over 100 arrested for anti-Muslim riots

first_imgColombo: Sri Lanka’s police reimposed night curfews in vulnerable areas on Wednesday and arrested over 100 people in connection with the communal riots which targeted Muslim-owned businesses in the aftermath of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings. The police announcement came hours after authorities lifted the nationwide restrictions on people’s movements and assembly. The curfew will be imposed in the North Western province and the Gampaha Police division from 7 pm Wednesday night till 4 am Thursday, News First quoted police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara as saying. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe Air Force would deploy helicopters at day and night to assist with controlling illegal assemblies and acts of violence, Sri Lanka Air Force spokesman Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne said. “We have already taken measures to obtain aerial photographic evidence of those involved in such activities and to direct such evidence for legal action against lawbreakers,” he said. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said at least 78 people were arrested from the worst-affected North-Western Province (NWP) for the anti-Muslim violence. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsRest of the suspects were arrested from other parts of the country, he said. “In addition to the 78 arrested and remanded after they were produced in court, video footage from the incidents are being reviewed to make more arrests,” Gunasekera said. The majority Sinhala community mobs vandalised Muslim-owned properties in NWP and adjoining Gampaha district in the Western Province, a senior police officer said, adding that the mobs even defied the curfew to attack Muslim properties which resulted in the death of one person. Gunasekera said among the arrested were state and private sector employees. They have been remanded till 29 May. The island-wide curfew was imposed on Monday after violence against the Muslim community which accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s population. The curfew was briefly lifted on Tuesday before being reimposed for a second straight night following reports of fresh violence in some parts of the country.last_img