New Delhi: In a major breakthrough in the Easter Sunday bombings, which claimed lives of more than 250 people, India has shared with Sri Lankan authorities phone numbers of five locals (Lankans) suspected to be linked with Islamic State (IS), reported a leading daily. Also Read - Vision of US For Sri Lanka Very Different From ‘Predator’ China, Says Pompeo
Notably, a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team led by Inspector General Alok Mittal, who has probed various ISIS-related cases in South India was in Sri Lanka last week to hold discussions with authorities about a probe in the Easter bombings over claims that some terrorists, owning allegiance to ISIS, had travelled to India. Also Read - India-Sri Lanka Bilateral Talks: PM Modi Pitches For Devolution of Powers by Lankan Govt to Minority Tamils
Reports claimed that the NIA has also shared call logs and details of some Indians who were in touch with the family of two Lankan suicide bombers involved in the deadly attacks. Also Read - Lankan Navy, Indian Ships Battling Re-ignited Fire on Board Oil Tanker
“The NIA had found four to five numbers in Sri Lanka which were in touch either directly or through social media with certain Islamic State suspects in India. These have been shared with Lankan authorities for further investigation.Whether these numbers belong to those associated with the Easter bombings in any way is not known,” Indian Express quoted a Home Ministry official as saying.
Multiple blasts ripped through Sri Lanka on April 21, when the Christian community was celebrating Easter Sunday. The explosions rattled three churches and high-end hotels across the country, killing more than 250 people, , including 11 Indians.
A local Jihadi group and ISIS affiliate, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, claimed responsibility for the devastating attacks which have been widely condemned.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a scheduled visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday, June 9. He will be the first foreign leader to visit the island nation after the bombings.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the Prime Minister is visiting the country with a very clear message of solidarity and signalling India’s confidence in the Sri Lankan government in overcoming the dastardly Easter bombings.
Responding to a question on whether India will help Sri Lanka deal with the scourge of terrorism, the ministry said it was ready for any assistance to any country of the region.