Colombo, Nov 18 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lankan police, on Saturday arrested at least 19 people following violent clashes which erupted between two communal groups in Gintota, Galle, in southern Sri Lanka.
A police curfew which had been imposed in six areas across the Galle District was lifted on Saturday morning at 9 am local time. A police official told NewsIn.Asia that the situation had now returned to normal but tight security would remain across the District throughout the day.
Over 200 police and 100 Special Task Force officers have been deployed.
Local media reports said the groups had clashed over an accident which had taken place earlier on Friday. A child belonging to a particular community was allegedly knocked down by a motorcycle driven by a man belonging to another community. The man was arrested, produced in court and granted bail on the same day.
However reports alleged that once the man was released, a group from his community attacked members of the child’s community who were playing football.
Police intervened and sorted the issue but violence escalated Friday evening which resulted in a place of worship, some shops and several houses being damaged. Many were also injured in the clashes.
Government Ministers who visited the scene said it would not tolerate any communal disharmony and stern action would be taken against those attempting to spread communalism.
Law and Order Minister, Sagala Ratnayake, said in a statement on Saturday said that while the situation is now under control, some political parties are trying to take advantage of the situation by spreading false news through the social media.
He warned that anyone who tries to turn a “minor brawl” into a Sinhalese-Muslim conflict will be arrested irrespective of his status or position.
(Pic courtesy AFP/File Pic)