NIA conducts raids in Tamil Nadu over suspected links between Indian citizens, perpetrators of Sri Lanka attacks

Coimbatore: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out searches at various places following reports that some people are in touch with those involved in the 21 April church blasts in Sri Lanka.

 NIA conducts raids in Tamil Nadu over suspected links between Indian citizens, perpetrators of Sri Lanka attacks

Sri Lankan Navy soldiers guarding St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo, which was one the sites of the blasts. AP.

Raids were conducted by a team of NIA sleuths at seven places in the city on the basis of inputs that certain people are reportedly in touch with those behind the Easter day attacks on social media, police sources said.

The searches were a continuation of those conducted here and in Kerala in connection with an Islamic State (IS) terror module, they said. However, details about the seizure of documents or devices were not available immediately, they added.

The IS had claimed responsibility for the serial bombings in Sri Lanka and around nine suicide bombers were involved in the attack.

The Sri Lankan government has said that local terror group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) carried out the attacks with support from the IS. The devastating blasts killed 253 people and wounded more than 500 others.

Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando handed over his resignation letter to president Maithripala Sirisena Thursday who had asked Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara to quit after their failure to prevent the blasts despite having prior intelligence.

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a high-powered panel to investigate the attacks. However, the report, which was promised to be issued within two weeks, has not seen the light of day.

Soon after the attack, India stepped up security in the southern states.

Sirisena has since taken a strong exception to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's faction initiating a parliamentary probe.

The President has threatened to boycott Cabinet meetings if the parliamentary select committee process was not halted. Sirisena said he would not cooperate with the parliamentary probe and would not allow defence or police officials to testify before the committee.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the head of Colombo's Catholic church in Sri Lanka, expressed dissatisfaction over the ongoing probe in the bombings, saying it will "end up in nothing," like all the previous investigations.

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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2019 16:20:08 IST