A Tamil Nadu-based Islamic organization had inspired the local Islamist extremist group NTJ that carried out multiple blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, a Buddhist monk claimed.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Buddhist monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara, who was controversially released from jail, said that two Tamil Nadu Thowheeth Jamaath (TNTJ) men -- Ayub and Abdeen -- visited Sri Lanka.
"They met one Abdul Razik here. The idea was to provoke Buddhists to attack Muslims. They spread stories derogatory of the Buddha," Gnanasara said, according to news agency PTI.
"The TNTJ created Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath (SLTJ) and later All Ceylon Thowheeth Jama'ath. The SLTJ was later split fewer than nine separate leaders," the monk added. The Sri Lankan government has banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the attacks.
Gnanasara said that despite the arrest of almost everyone affiliated to the NTJ, the key conspirator Andul Razik is still on run. "This Razik is misleading the security forces. We will locate him soon," the monk said.
Earlier this month, the Sri Lankan army had claimed that some of the suicide bombers who carried out multiple bombings in the island nation on April 21 had visited Kashmir, Kerala and Bengaluru in India to possibly get training in terrorist activities.
Sri Lankan Army chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said though the exact reason for their visit was not yet known; it is being suspected that the attackers travelled to India to establish their links with other terrorist organizations.
A series of devastating blasts rocked three churches and five luxury hotels in Sri Lanka last month, claiming lives of 230 people and injuring 500 others.