Is NTJ linked with Sri Lanka bomb blasts?
At least 207 people, including 35 foreigners, were killed and 400 left injured after a series of eight explosions took place in Sri Lanka during Easter congregation on Sunday, April 21, 2019. While Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe condemned the attacks as cowardly, no terror outfit has claimed the responsibility of the attack. Soon after the attacks, there were reports that claimed that Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara had sent an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, April 11, 2019, warning the attacks on prominent buildings.
The report in AFP reported the alert saying it was the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath), a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka, that was “planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo”. NTJ came to notice last year when it was linked to the vandalisation of Buddhist statues.
The Sri Lankan Police and Army personnel were deployed at the blast sites while experts from the forensic science team and bomb squad, too, reached the spot. The government soon imposed an immediate and indefinite curfew across the entire country following the attack.
The rescue operation is currently underway as the injured being taken to the Colombo National Hospital, reported PTI. The explosions have occurred in and around the Sri Lankan capital. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also in constant touch with the Indian High Commission in Colombo to keep a tab of the situation.
Sushma Swaraj confirmed the killing of three Indians on Twitter. She said that the Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals. The slain include Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh.