Police officers of the Nuwara Eliya division had tried to silence an individual who had provided a tip-off about the Jihadist Training Camp which was conducted by the National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) in May 2018, it was yesterday informed to the PCOI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission D.T. Ilesinghe, a resident from Nuwara Eliya said that after the Easter Sunday attacks investigators from various agencies visited him and told him not to reveal anything about NTJ’S training camp to others.
According to the statement submitted by Ilesinghe, NTJ Leader Zahran and NTJ mentor Naufer Moulavi had participated at the camp.
It was earlier revealed before the Commission the failure of the Nuwara Eliya Police to find anything suspicious from a search operation conducted at a lodge where NTJ conducted its training camp on May 08,2018,had led the NTJ associates to escape from the Police.
Testifying before the Commission Ilesinghe said that group of people arrived at Thakshila Holiday Inn, Nuwara Eliya in four white vans on May 05, 2018, and the group had never left the premises.
“Thakshila Holiday Inn was right next to my house. Unlike other tourists, these people never left the house, and they had kept the lights off in the night,” he said.
Ilesinghe said that he spoke to the owners of the Inn and subsequently, the owners told him to check on the site since he can speak in Tamil.
“When I was going to the house I had overheard a conversation.one person in the house said it was not safe to keep the money and weapons in the house,and they should transfer them back to Kattankudy. Responding to that a person named Abdullah said that it was not safe to transport weapons,” Ilesinghe informed the Commission.
The witness said that he had called 119 and even tried to contact an officer at the Nuwara Eliya Police Station but could not reach them.then the witness had remembered that he had noted down IGP Pujith Jayasundara’s contact number from a television programme and called him.
“Then IGP gave me SP Mahinda Dissanayake’s contact number and when I contacted him he said that Nuwara Eliya police will visit the place soon. However, a single police car came by around 4.30 pm, and they were unable to arrest the suspects,” he said.
The witness further added that after the Easter Sunday attacks SI Indrajith and two other officers from the Nuwara Eliya Police had visited his house and accepted their failure to arrest the suspects. “They also told me not to reveal anything to others, if I had done something like that the ISIS will kill me. In response, I said that I know ISIS never kill me but surely Police will do,” the witness said. (YOSHITHA PERERA)