Jan 17, 2022

Rs. 50,000 contract for grenade at Borella Church!

The main suspect in the incident where a hand grenade was brought to the All Saints Church in Borella has been arrested by a special police team in the Panamura area in Embilipitiya, reports say.

The suspect is a Sinhalese national and according to information received by the State Intelligence Service, the suspect had been paid Rs. 50,000 to bring the bomb.

It is said that the money was given by a Muslim and an extensive investigation is underway to arrest him.

The arrested man was the man clad in an orange T-shirt from among two people in the camera footage.

When contacted, Senior DIG in charge of the Western Province Deshabandu Tennakoon said that an extensive investigation is underway and that more information will be revealed in due course.

The bomb was planned to be setup at the  Borella All Saints Church three days prior to reaching 1,000 days since the Easter attacks and although it had been set to detonate using rubber bands, joss sticks and match sticks, it had not been successful, the police said.

The church authorities had notified the Borella Police regarding the bomb and investigations commenced thereafter.

Police said that a 56 - year - old man from Maradana, who had been staying at the church for nine months, had brought the bomb in a bag and had used a 13 - year - old boy who was staying at the church to plant the bomb. These were revealed through CCTV footage.

The 56-year-old had been in contact with the church for 13 years, police said.

It was determined that he had made the bomb as the police had found a matchbox  in the suspect's room which had a reduced amount of matchsticks and the Cello tape used for that purpose had also been found in the room.

The 13-year-old boy, who had been a helper to the Parish priest of the church, had also made a secret statement before the Colombo Additional Magistrate in this regard.

A group of officials including the Borella OIC visited the church on the 11th and asked a priest to stop the service as there was a bomb, but he did not panic or stop the service and the devotees did not leave the place, police said.

Police have also told the media that while investigating the arrested persons in connection with the incident, the priest was trying to unnecessarily mislead the investigation and it is suspected that this was done with his knowledge and an organized group.

However, the cardinal had recently accused the police of not conducting a proper investigation into the matter.

 ‘The police arrested four persons who have been working in the church for many years. The Police Spokesman claimed that the bomb had been placed by a person called ‘Muni’. We watched the CCTV thoroughly and also notified our priests to go through all the CCTV footage from morning despite the police telling us that it was sufficient to only watch the footage from 3.00 pm.  But, we watched all the footage from morning and we observed a person entering the church premises at 09.52 am that day. He was dressed in a black pant and bush shirt and was carrying a shopping bag and he was limping and entering the church. But, instead of looking for that man, the police is trying to concoct various stories,” the Cardinal said.

Colombo Crimes Division, Colombo South Division, CID and Borella Police are conducting further investigations.