Seventeen suspects, including three Buddhist monks, accused of attacking a Muslim-owned cloth store here, were released on Tuesday after a Sri Lankan court dismissed the charges against them.
The accused had been produced in court in connection with Thursday night’s attack on ‘Fashion Bug’ store in which several people were injured.
The suspicion for the attack fell on Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Force), the Buddhist nationalist group, which is allegedly leading a campaign against Muslims in the country.
The Magistrate warned the suspects and ordered their release.
The lawyers for ‘Fashion Bug’ consented to the dismissing of the case for the sake of greater communal harmony.
The attack prompted the main Muslim party and government ally, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, to call for urgent government action to ensure the safety of the 9 per cent Muslim minority among the 20 million population of the island nation. The majority are Sinhalese Buddhists, while most Tamils are Hindus.