Though Easter Sunday suicide attack mastermind Zahran Hashim had been eliminated, extremist practices are still being conducted in the Kattankudi area, Secretary to the Alhaj Abdul Jawaadh Alim Waliyyullah Trust, Mohammed Zailan told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into Easter Sunday attacks yesterday.
Alhaj Abdul Jawaadh Alim Waliyyullah Trust represents the Sufis, the traditional Muslims in Sri Lanka.
Testifying before the Commission, the witness said that Wahhabi teaching is still widespread at Madrasas in Kattankudi and there were occasions where lecturers from India had engaged conducting lectures on Wahhabism.
He said Wahhabists operate 10 to 15 mosques in Kattankudi and around 15,000 followers go to these mosques.
The witness also said that Wahhabists receive foreign funding and that the environment in Kattankudi had changed drastically within last 25 years.
He also said that Zahran Hashim had signed agreements with the representatives of five political parties including UPFA and UNP before the 2015 General Elections.
“Representatives from SLMC, UNP, UPFA and National Front for Good Governance (NFGG) signed agreement with Zahran to conduct political campaigns and as well as with National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ),” he told the Commission.
The representatives who signed the agreement on behalf of the parties are M.L.A.M. Hizbullah (UPFA), Shibly Farook (SLMC), A.L.M. Ruby (UNP), and Abdul Rahman (NFGG), he added.
The witness pointed out that Zahran Hashim had pledged his support to former President Maithripala Sirisena during the 2015 Presidential election. (Yoshitha Perera)