Gintota is currently facing a heavily tense situation with impending riots, by Sinhalese mobs against Muslims.
Reports from the ground said that there is a riot building up currently after a Sinhalese group of youth had assaulted bunch of Muslims who were playing.
A skirmish between two groups over a bike accident has escalated to violence. According to reports, a Muslim child had been knocked down by a Sinhalese youth on 13 November 2017. That incident was settled after the victims were paid by the bike rider.
On 16 November 2017 a Sinhalese group of youth had assaulted two Muslim motorbike riders while reminding them the 13th November incident. After one Muslim victim was hospitalised, a group led by a former Muslim urban council member attacked two houses belonging to Sinhalese. One Sinhala man was hospitalised as a consequence of the attack. The same day police have arrested the council member as well as Sinhalese who attacked the Muslim motorbike riders.
Today a small mosque and several houses belonging to Muslims in Gintota have been attacked by Sinhala mobs leading to major tensions. Police and the special task force were mobilized yesterday and withdrawn this afternoon when tensions eased. It erupted again this evening when a large mob from outside had arrived and started pelting stones at the mosque.
The Muslim youth too are gathering and tensions are rising. The STF and police have been mobilized again, and tear gas has been used at the mob that had gathered. Muslim youth are worried that Gintota may become another Aluthgama.
Updated – 11.50 pm
Police curfew has been imposed in the Gintota police area (Welipitimodara, Maha Hapugala, Rukwatta, Gintota/West and East, Pidiyagama and Kurunduwatta) till 9 am tomorrow following the clash. The police have arrested 16 Sinhalese and 3 Muslims.