- Sarah had been hiding in three places at Kalawanchikudy and Batticaloa before fleeing to India last September
- a powerful person in Mannar had given her a boat to escape the country
By Yoshitha Perera
The police have found sufficient evidence to show that the Katuwapitiya Church suicide bomber’s widow Pulasthini Rajendran alias Sarah had fled to India by sea in September 2019, PCoI Police Unit’s Chief Inspector Arjuna Mahinkanda informed the Commission yesteraday.
He said the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) had detained a suspect believed to be Sarah’s uncle on charges of helping her to flee to India from Kalawanchikudy after the Easter Sunday attacks. The CI said following a tip off received on July 6, 2020, a team of officers attached to the PCoI police unit and the CCD launched an inquiry on Sarah, who was believed to have been in the house where the Saindamarudu attack took place on April 26, 2019 and later fled to India. He said the police had recorded statements about Sarah from an eye witness and according to the statements she was at Mankandu, Kalmunai in September 2019. “The eye witness informed us that Sarah came to the Batticaloa -- Kalmunai main road via a side road named Beach road and got into a butter coloured cab. The eye witness informed us that Sarah was wearing a Fardha without covering her face,” the CI said.
He said through the statements recorded from eyewitnesses it was also revealed that Kalawanchikudy Police, Traffic Division OIC Abu Bakkar was in the cab at that time and when the eye witness tried to speak to him, the vehicle proceeded towards Batticaloa. On July 13, 2020 the CCD had arrested OIC Abu Bakkar for concealing evidence connected to Easter Sunday attacks.
The CI said investigations had also revealed that Sarah had been hiding in three places at Kalawanchikudy and Batticaloa before fleeing to India last September.
He said that investigations also revealed that a powerful person in Mannar had given her a boat to escape the country.
“In the explosion which had taken place on the night of April 26, it had been initially reported that Sarah had also died but a recent Government Analyst’s DNA report mentioned that Sarah was not present at the site of the blast,” the CI said.
- The eye witness informed us that Sarah came to the Batticaloa-Kalmunai main road via a side road named Beach road and got into a butter coloured cab
Saindamarudu Ops: Tracer bullets fired by suspects: SSP
- Says it reveals they had special weapon training
- We found the body of a man lying on the road
- security forces also recovered Rs.980,ooo in cash
By Yoshitha Perera
The tracer bullets used by the suicide bombers during the Saindamarudu shootout has revealed they had received special weapons training, Monaragala SSP and Ampara Police Division’s former SSP Deepal Wijesekera yesterday informed the PCoI on the Easter Sunday attacks.
He said these bullets allowed the shooter to visually trace their fight path, especially during a night battle. “Tracer fire can also be used as a marking tool to signal other shooters to concentrate their fire on a particular target during a battle,” he said.
SSP Wijesekara said the Saindamarudu shootout and blast happened at around 7.10 p.m. on April 26, 2019, and Maj. Gen. Mahinda Mudalige deployed soldiers to seal off the entire area. “The battle took place at Volivarian which is known as a tsunami village in Saindamarudu. We saw the suicide bombers on the roof of the house where they were located and started firing tracers in the sky.
There was a crossfire between the soldiers and the suicide bombers for some 40 minutes,” he said and added that the army had secured the entire area before entering the village. “On entering the village we saw the body of a man lying on the road. He was later identified as Mohammed Niyaz, the man who is alleged to have rented out the two safe houses in Sammanthurai and Nintavur,” the SSP said. He said Niyaz had a T56 weapon in his hand but the way it was positioned meant he had used it for firing and added that during the operation the police had recovered Rs.980,000 made up of Rs.5,000 rupee-notes beside Niyaz’s body.
- Tracer fire can also be used as a marking tool to signal other shooters to concentrate their fire on a particular target during a battle