COLOMBO (Reuters) – A 37-year-old Sri Lankan Buddhist monk on Tuesday assaulted and strangled a police officer who sought to arrest him on a warrant for alleged sexual harassment, a police spokesman said.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said the monk fatally injured the unarmed police officer by throttling him while resisting arrest at his temple in the central district of Ratnapura, 100 km from the capital Colombo.
He said nearby residents notified authorities of the killing and the monk tried to throw a grenade at police who went to arrest him in the temple. A scuffle ensured and the monk was arrested on suspicion of murder in addition to the harassment allegation, Gunasekara said. The monk was hospitalised with a broken hand.
Buddhism is the religion of 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s population and its monks command high respect and wield strong in the affairs of the South Asian country. But some recent cases of monks defying police have drawn public criticism.