Fonseka's wife, Muslim leader claim he has been kidnapped

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Colombo, Feb.9 (ANI): Former Sri Lanka army chief Sarath Fonseka's wife, Anoma Fonseka, has charged the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government of kidnapping her husband.

Fonseka was taken into military custody late on Monday night on the orders of the government on charges of attempting a coup while in office.

"This is not an arrest. This is an abduction. He was carried away. What he had said was that as a civilian he will surrender to the police," media reports quoted Anoma Fonseka, as saying at a press conference here.

"It is an abduction for another reason. Up to now, we don't know where he is being held. How can that be. If he was arrested, then we must be told where he was being held. The government must do that," a teary Anoma added.

Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakeen said: "He was summarily hauled, dragged by his feet and legs and taken away in a very undignified and humiliating fashion. And for all of us, it was evident that this is a government which is simply not dictatorial but fascist and they are all out to humiliate him, harass him and go on a journey of vendetta and witch hunt."

Fonseka lost the January 26 election to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by an 18 point margin and had since accused Rajapaksa of rigging the vote.

Rajapaksa, in turn, accused Fonseka of a coup and assassination plot and ordered his arrest.

The arrest caps a rapid fall from grace for the outspoken commander who was celebrated as a national hero after leading the army against the Tamil Tigers. He quit his military post in November to run as the candidate of a disparate opposition alliance.

So far, at least 37 of Fonseka's staff, including 15 former army officers, working for him, have been arrested.

The army last week also forced 14 serving senior officers, seen as Fonseka loyalists, to retire. (ANI)

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