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India arrests IS member connected with Zahran Hashim

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India arrested a member of Islamic State (IS) who was in touch with Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of 2019 Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka, Hindustan Times said.

The IS member was arrested for his alleged links with suspects in the October 23 blast in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore.

The federal agency also arrested another man, identified as Sanofar Ali, for allegedly taking part in plans to carry out terror attacks in the country.

NIA officers familiar with the developments said IS member Sheikh Hidayatullah was allegedly in touch with Maulvi Zahran bin Hashim, the mastermind of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019 that claimed over 250 lives.

Both Hidayatullah and Sanofar Ali were arrested from Tamil Nadu, an NIA officer said.

According to NIA officers cited above, Hidayatullah, who has been propagating IS ideology since 2017, was earlier arrested along with Azharuddin in June 2019. He was released on bail in 2020. Azharuddin from Ukkadam and leader of Kerala-Tamil Nadu IS module is currently in jail for the Sri Lanka bombings.

All the above accused were inspired by Hashim, who masterminded and executed the Sri Lanka bombings — in which 252 people were killed — and planned to carry out similar attacks in two south Indian states at that time.

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Dasun Shanaka denies political involvement

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Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka insisted that he has no links to any political party in the country.

In a Twitter message, Shanaka said that he has noticed his image being circulated in a political party propaganda.

“I’ve noticed my image circulating in a political party propaganda. I have no inclination with any party or ever have participated as an ambassador. My one true love and passion is playing cricket for my country,” he tweeted.

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No COVID-19 deaths yesterday

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No COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed yesterday (29) by the Director-General of Health Services.

Accordingly, the current COVID-19 death toll remains at 16,828.

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Racecourse murder : Boyfriend further remanded

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The university student who was held in remand custody for allegedly murdering his girlfriend with a sharp weapon at Race Course grounds in Colombo has been remanded further.

Taking up the case today (30) Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis ordered him to be further remanded till February 13.

The magisterial inquest into the death was held today before Colombo Chief Magistrate and

A testimony of the deceased’s father was recorded before Chief Magistrate and further magisterial inquiry was fixed for February 13.

The suspect was not produced before Court by prison authorities since he is currently receiving treatment at the Mental Health Unit of prison hospital.

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