Following an attack allegedly launched by a Buddhist extremist group, including monks who had come from outside, and iron rods wielding armed groups on a 30-year-old mosque and neighbouring Muslim houses situated at Swarna Chaitya Road, Grandpass, a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka, eight persons including two police officers have been hospitalised. Of those hospitalised, one victim is in a critical condition, Lanka-e-News said on 10 August.
This attack was launched on 9 August, the day following Eid al-Fitr festival when a special religious ceremony was in progress in the mosque. The report says that as always, the police had given security to the attackers and not taken any action to avert the attack. These attackers even dragged Muslim women from their homes and assaulted them with iron rods. One of the victims who is admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) has been struck on the head by an iron rod. Several buildings and few vehicles were also damaged.
This mosque is about 30 years old. As it was being constructed in a new building in the vicinity after closing the old one, these Buddhist extremists opposed this new construction, and launched this lethal attack. It is significant to note that the permission of the Buddha Sasana Ministry, the Ministry of Muslim Affairs and the Municipal Council had been obtained for this construction at the new site.
Though tension had been there for the last one month, the officials did not take any notice of it. When large suspicious groups from outside congregated at this venue, the police were informed, yet no pre-emptive action was taken by the police to prevent this attack.
Finally even after these hooligans started attacking fiercely, the police instead of taking appropriate action to quell the violence only provided protection for them, the report alleged.
The army had been summoned. Curfew has been imposed in the Grandpass police area.