- Pulasthini Mahendran and Mohammed Hastun came to their SLTJ office and requested to convert Pulasthini to Islam
- AG Department representative queried witness whether Katuwapitiya bomber Mohammed Hastun was a member of SLTJ during that time
By Yoshitha Perera
Katuwapitiya suicide bomber Mohammed Hastun and Pulasthini Mahendran alias Sarah Jasmine had got married without Quazi approval, it was on Tuesday revealed before the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission, General Secretary of the Ceylon Thowheed Jamaat (CTJ) Abdul Razik said that on August 04, 2015 Pulasthini Mahendran and Mohammed Hastun came to their Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamaat (SLTJ) office and requested to convert Pulasthini to Islam.
Representative from the Attorney General’s (AG) Department questioned the witness whether Katuwapitiya St. Sebastian Church’s suicide bomber Mohammed Hastun was a member of SLTJ during that time.
Responding to the question the witness said that Hastun was not a member of the SLTJ and he came to know about him in 2015.
“Hastun and Pulasthini came to our SLTJ office in Maligawatta, Colombo and requested to convert Pulasthini to Islam. Hastun said both of them came from Eastern Province and they were classmates,” he said.
Abdul Razik said that during the first meeting with duo at the SLTJ head office, the couple had no intention of getting married. Commissioner: “Hastun was from Ottamawadi and Pulasthini was from Kalawanchikudy. Why had they travelled almost 300km to convert Pulasthini to Islam? Why couldn’t they do it in their area? Abdul Razik: “They must have searched and found details about our organisation via Internet”
Commissioner: “Does that mean your organisation is prevalent in converting non-believers to Islam?”
Abdul Razik: “Most of non-believers had searched our organisation through Internet and wanted to convert to Islam. We issued 150 letters after changing their names” Commissioner: “Earlier, you informed the Commission that you are not a Moulavi. Then what is the authority you have to issue such letters?”
Abdul Razik: “As a religious organisation we can issue such letters”
Commissioner: “How many SLTJ branches did you have?”
Abdul Razik: “We had nearly 70 SLTJ branches”
The witness further said that Pulasthini had converted to Islam on the very first day she visited the SLTJ office and Pulasthini alias Sarah Jasmine had also requested the SLTJ to take over her custody.
“At that time, we refused to do that and told her if she wanted to give her custody to the organisation then she had to get married. At that point she refused to get married and I had to contact her mother’s brother,” he said.
Then the representative from the AG’s department questioned Razik whether Pulasthini alias Sarah Jasmine’s family visited the organisation.
Responding to the question the witness said that her family came to SLTJ office on August 05, 2019 but Sarah did not want go with them.
“Then we took them to the Maligawatte Police station and there both parties had entered into an agreement and took Pulasthini Mahendran alias Sarah Jasmine for five days to her parents village,” he said.
Razik informed the Commission that after that on 24 September, 2015 the Katuwapitiya suicide bomber Mohommad Hastun and Sarah Jasmine visited SLTJ office again and said they wanted to get married.
He said that Pulasthini alias Sarah Jasmine informed him she could not follow Islam at her home and she wanted to marry Hastun.
“Since both them decided to get married I had to act as Pulasthini’s guardian,” he said. When the Commission asked why Razik acted as the guardian of Pulasthini, he said that he had informed it earlier also, if both Hastun and Sarah agreed to the marriage the SLTJ could act as the guardian.
However, the witness said that after December, 2015 he was not aware of Pulasthini Mahendran alias Sarah Jasmine and when her mother contacted him 2019 asking for the whereabouts of Sarah he had taken measures to inform the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID).