Two people including the brother of the former minister were arrested in Puttalam over the Easter Sunday attacks on April 21, police said on Tuesday. The Special Investigations Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department will conduct further investigations into the suspect, the police noted.
However, the former minister noted that none of his family members or his lawyers have been allowed to speak to him yet. He also observed that although seven people were arrested along with him, only his name and his brother's name were published in media with many false allegations.
"This arrest is clearly political victimization and the only reason for his arrest was that he is a brother of mine. During the Easter Sunday Attacks last year, many politicians, mainstream and social media started their racist campaigns against me saying that I was behind this attack. But finally it was proved and even the Acting IGP of Police informed the Parliamentary Secretary General that Rishad Bathiudeen has had no connection with this attack or any other terrorist activity following his investigations. Now the arrow has been pointed at my brother to tarnish my image," Bathiudeen said in statement today.
"Neither me nor any of my family members are involved with these terrorist attacks. I also wish to state that we were and will always be against terrorism since we also belong to a community that were forcibly evicted by the LTTE in 1990," he said.
Bathiudeen said that he and his family including his brother will provide their fullest cooperation to the investigations conducted by the Police and CID with regard to these attacks.
"I request these racist media and other extremists to stop publicizing fake news which will disrupt the investigations. Think wisely and act with humanity," the former minister added.
My brother's arrest is clearly a case of political victimization - Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen
Commenting on the arrest of his brother Riyaj Bathiudeen, former minister and the Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) Rishad Bathiudeen said that it is "clearly
political victimization and is an attempt to tarnish my image."