The Sri Lankan Police on Thursday arrested a former top counter-terrorism official in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and several other important personalities, PTI reported. The Criminal Investigation Department arrested Nalaka de Silva, former deputy inspector general of the Terrorist Investigation Division, said police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara.
The CID interrogated de Silva for five days over the alleged conspiracy to assassinate Sirisena and former Defence Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He was produced before a magistrate on Thursday.
The former police official was implicated by Namal Kumara, who last month revealed the alleged plot. Kumara claimed that Silva had discussed the conspiracy with him on phone. A government analyst scrutinised the tapes between the two men and verified their voices on the tapes.
Merceli Thomas, an Indian, is also under detention in Sri Lanka for his alleged involvement in the plot. He was arrested last month. Thomas appeared in a Colombo court on Tuesday. In a written statement, Thomas claimed that the Criminal Investigation Department was attempting to implicate him in the plot.
Last week, Sri Lanka refuted reports that Sirisena had told his Cabinet that India’s Research and Analysis Wing was plotting to kill him. The president’s Media Division released a statement that Sirisena only stressed the need to investigate an alleged assassination plot against him.