Former Law and Order Minister Ranjith Maddubandara yesterday said he functioned as the law and order minister only for seven months and said there should be a permanent minister and a secretary for law and order so as to work effectively in matters related to national security.
Testifying before the Parliament Select Committee to appointed to probe Easter Sunday attack, he said he had received two intelligent reports on the extremist activities of National Thawheed Jama’at leader Zahran during his time as the Law and Order Minister.
He said the first report was received on May 17, 2018, which was on a clash between two Islamic factions in Kattankudy and the second was received on May 19 on the same year which said about Zahran’s hate speech and speeches admiring activities of the ISIS through the social media platforms.
Responding to a question on what action was taken based on those reports, the Minister said the TID obtained an open warrant against Zahran on July 9, 2018, after receiving those reports.
“TID had deployed several teams to arrest Zahran. Police instructed relevant authorities to take action to prevent him from leaving the country. They had gone to Narammala where his wife’s house was situated but he had not been even there,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)