World Briefs

Indian leader quizzed

AHMEDABAD: Top Hindu nationalist leader and the chief minister of western Gujarat state, Narendra Modi, appeared on Saturday before a panel probing the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat. It was the first time that Modi, long accused by human rights groups of turning a blind eye to the pogrom, has been questioned by investigators to establish if he had a role in the riots that killed around 2,000 Muslims. “The panel has had detailed interaction with me. I have said before India’s constitution and the law are supreme... no one is above the law,” a calm-looking Modi said as he emerged after more than five hours of questioning. — AFP

Lanka arrests author

COLOMBO: An author who wrote a book about her conversion from Buddhism to Islam has been arrested in Sri Lanka accused of unspecified “anti-state” activities, police said on Saturday. The woman, identified as Malini Perera, was taken into custody during the week under tough emergency laws, police spokesman Prashantha Jayakjody told AFP without elaborating. Media reports said the writer, a native Sri Lankan who is resident in Bahrain, was detained while on holiday on the island after trying to mail two copies of her book to undisclosed recipients abroad.

Majority-Buddhist Sri Lanka projects itself as a secular country but is highly sensitive to any debate on Buddhism.