Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sri Lanka: Villagers protest against the Police over mysterious killing

By Wasantha Chandrapala and Navaratna Samarathunga - The residents of several villages in Inginiyagala staged a protest compelling the authorities to hold an impartial inquiry against the individuals responsible for the mysterious killing of a young man who was allegedly taken into custody by Inginiyagala police.

They burnt tyres and obstructed the traffic on Damana-Padagoda Road.

A resident of Mahawala in Inginiyagala police area Saman Tilakasiri (39) was allegedly taken into custody by police on Sunday night and his body was recovered from a canal last morning.

The relatives of the deceased and the residents who suspected a foul play made representations to the Ampara Additional District Judge Chaminda Sampath Hewawasam who held a preliminary inquiry at the scene.

A resident of the area L.V. Chandrasena told the magistrate that Saman and Chandana were asleep in his house when three police officers came on motorcycles and arrested Saman.

He said: “Police told us that they wanted to record a statement from Saman in connection with a complaint. When we were talking to the police officers, they received a call from the Police Station. The officer who answered the call asked weather they should bring Saman right now or tell him to come to the police station on the following day.

Later they wanted Saman to come with them. After they left we went to the police station. On our way we saw their motorcycles halted near the bund.

However, the police officers did not reply when we made inquiries about Saman. The following morning we heard that his body was floating in the canal,” he said. Thousands of people from several villages flocked to the scene when the body was recovered from the canal.

They said the death was a foul play for which Inginiyagala police was responsible. They pointed out Saman Tilakasiri was a social worker of the area and he was under death threats from police.

His wife accused the police for the killing.

However, the Magistrate told the people to appear in court on next Friday and make statements in this regard.

He advised them to take up the issue with the SP Ampara Premalal Ranagala. A police team of Ampara Police is conducting formal inquiries on the instructions of SP Ampara.

© Daily Mirror

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