Sri Lanka police have apprehended the main suspect who allegedly organized the suicide bomb attack on the Zion Church in Batticaloa on Easter Sunday in 2019, said Police Media Spokesperson SP Jaliya Senaratne during a special press conference held at the Government Information Department on Sunday.
A series of simultaneous bombings took place on April 21, 2019, targeting three churches during Easter Sunday services and three luxury hotels, and in which 293 people were killed. According to media reports, 30 people were killed in the attack and up to 300 wounded on the Protestant evangelical Zion Church in Batticaloa when the suicide bomber blew himself up just before the Easter church service commenced.
“The police commenced several investigations and based on the success of these investigations we were able to arrest the suspect. There were certain allegations that the police were falling back on the investigations and the President ordered the removal of any officer involved in the investigation, who was not contributing to expedite the investigations and appoint capable and active officers to lead the investigations,” Senaratne said.
Senaratne said as a result the police were able to expedite the investigations and arrest the suspect who is responsible for the death of many innocent lives.
“Based on the directives of the president to ensure that justice is served for all those who were killed in this attack and the many others who were affected by it, we made certain changes and corrected all shortcomings,” Senaratne said.
According to Senaratne, the investigating teams inspected all telephone records and through their investigations, they were able to arrest the main suspect who had transported the suicide bomber to the Zion Church in Batticaloa.
“He is the mastermind who was behind this attack and he had been absconding from the police, but eventually, he was arrested by the CID today based on the investigations carried out,” Senaratne added.