A cat and mouse game ensued between the police and Bodu Bala Sena’s (BBS) Galagoda Atte Gnanasara who continues to evade his arrest, 11 days since the police deployed units to apprehend him. However, Police Spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody assured that the hunt for Gnanasara had not ceased and units were continuing their search to apprehend him.
Meanwhile, police have also questioned the doctor who claimed to have treated Gnanasara and had issued a medical certificate to be produced in court claiming that the monk was suffering from ill health.
“It has become obvious that Ven. Gnanasara admitted himself to a not very prominent medical centre in Navinna on 31st May early morning, in an attempt to avoid being present in court. He had admitted himself at 4.30 am and then soon after the court proceedings were over he had got himself discharged on the same day and disappeared again,” DIG Jayakody told Colombo Telegraph.
According to the police spokesman, the medical certificate issued by the doctor in question was unaccepted as it was a handwritten letter. “Even the medical certificate that was issued is not in formal order, as it is not in a printed form, but just a handwritten letter,” he said. DIG Jayakody also said that the police will lodge a complaint to the Sri Lanka Medical Council against the doctor who had issued the questionable medical certificate through Gnanasara’s lawyers.
With the two week mark nearing since the police said that it had deployed several units to arrest Gnanasara on several charges, including for inciting religious disharmony, when pointed out that the police have been blamed for inaction in this case, DIG Jayakody said that this is not the only case that the police is handling but investigations are very much on and the search for the monk is continuing. “He is in hiding, but we are continuing investigations to apprehend him,” DIG Jayakody added.
The arrest warrant for Gnanasara was issued amidst intensifying pressure from the Muslim community and the diplomatic community on the government and the police which initially was accused of soft peddling the increasing anti-Muslim attacks in the country. In the recent past, Gnanasara has renewed his campaign against the Muslim community and have being seen instigating racial hatred between the Buddhists and Muslims. Since April this year over 20 Muslim owned businesses and mosques located across the country have come under attack, with some being torched by masked men while petrol bombs were thrown at a few others. (By Munza Mushtaq)