COLOMBO, Jan 15: Security around Sri Lanka’s Muslim Affairs Minister, Rauf Hakeem, was strengthened on Wednesday after police unveiled an alleged plot to kill him last week.

Police in the Negombo district confirmed that an armed group carrying firearms, bombs and bullets had undertaken a contract to kill the minister.

The alleged conspiracy to kill Hakeem, who is the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) took place last Saturday night at the eve of a convention of the SLMC when the group travelling towards the venue of the SLMC convention was nabbed by police.

According to the police seven members of the gang were Muslims while the others were Tamils. Upon interrogation the group had admitted that the contract was to kill Hakeem as well as other close supporters of his.

The reason for the plot is seen by the police as being the recent upheaval in the SLMC with dissidents of the party questioning Hakeem’s position in the SLMC. The matter ended up in courts in favour of the SLMC leader.

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