Army officer arrested over grenade explosion in Diyatalawa bus

Sri Lanka army soldiers take up position in the north-eastern region of Weli Oya on March 27, 2008. Sri Lanka has launched a probe into a mystery poster campaign that is asking would-be Tamil Tiger suicide bombers to turn themselves in to government hands in return for cash. Tens of thousands have died since the LTTE launched an armed struggle in 1972, to carve out a separate homeland for minority Tamils from the majority Sinhalese community in the island's north and east. The Tigers are fighting for an independent homeland for minority Tamils from the majority Sinhalese community in the island's north and east. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A Sergeant Major of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has been arrested in connection with the recent grenade explosion inside a bus at Diyatalawa.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the army officer was ordered remanded until March 15 after being produced at Bandarawela Magistrate’s Court.

The Sergeant Major attached to the Sri Lanka Army’s 6th Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Regiment was allegedly responsible for carrying the grenade which exploded inside the bus, in which several Army, Air Force personnel and civilians were seriously injured.

Following investigations into the incident, the army officer was arrested while receiving treatment at the Diyatalawa Hospital.

The explosion occurred in a private passenger bus travelling from Jaffna to Diyatalawa caused injuries to 19 passengers on February 21 around 5.45 am while it was plying in the general area of Kahagolla, Diyatalawa.

Reports claimed that the bus after reaching Bandarawela town has transferred the passengers bound for Diyatalawa to another private bus before the incident took place. Among the passengers were 7 Army personnel and 5 Air Force personnel. The Commander of the Sri Lanka Army appointed a high level six-member Court of Inquiry of senior army officers to carry out a separate investigation into the incident.