Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- A former Sri Lankan general who ran against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January has been arrested on charges of plotting to overthrow the country's government, authorities announced Monday night.
Retired Gen. Sarath Fonseka led the troops that defeated a quarter-century-long insurgency by the Tamil Tiger rebel movement in 2009. Mano Ganeshan, the head of one of the opposition parties that supported Fonseka's campaign, said the former army commander was "physically dragged" from his office by heavily armed military police during a meeting with supporters.
In a brief statement posted on a government Web site, Sri Lankan authorities said Fonseka was arrested about 9 p.m. (10:30 a.m. ET) "in connection with certain fraudulent acts and other military offences committed by him."
Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, a member of Parliament and human rights and relief official for the United National Party -- which supported Fonseka -- said that the general had been holding a meeting with opposition leaders at his Colombo office to discuss the upcoming parliamentary election.
A group of about 150 soldiers, wearing plain army uniforms with no special markings, stormed the meeting, Jayawardena said, ordering everyone except Fonseka to leave.
The general's wife, Anoma Fonseka, told CNN that she had learned about her husbands arrest from a nephew who was at the meeting. She said she is very concerned about Fonseka's safety and health.
Lakshman Hulugalle, director-general of Sri Lanka's Media Center for National Security, told reporters Fonseka will face trial before a military court on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government, violate military laws and sow dissension among members of Sri Lanka's armed forces.
There was no immediate response to the charges from Fonseka or his representatives.
Fonseka and Rajapaksa were both considered heroes of the battle against the Tigers, who fought for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority for more than 25 years.
Fonseka challenged Rajapaksa in January's vote and has accused the government of election fraud after losing by a wide margin.
Ganeshan said Fonseka was meeting with leaders of opposition parties that supported his presidential bid when he was arrested. The general broke ranks with the Rajapaksa administration after he was elevated to the largely ceremonial post of chief of defense staff in 2009.
During the campaign, Rajapaksa's supporters sought to disqualify him on the grounds that he was not registered to vote.
Troops surrounded the hotel Fonseka used as his headquarters the day after the election, leading the former general to accuse his onetime ally of "ignoring the constitution to remain in power."
The Tigers fought Sri Lanka's government for decades and controlled large parts of the island's north at the height of its power.
The conflict was blamed for 70,000-80,000 deaths between 1983 and 2009, when Rajapaksa's government reclaimed the rebel-held territories and declared victory.