The STF raid which ended with a death: What we know…

The STF raid which ended with a death: What we know…

The STF raid which ended with a death: What we know…

Written by Lahiru Fernando

21 Sep, 2016 | 6:26 am

On Tuesday, September 20,  the Police STF (Special Task Force) conducted a raid on a group of persons who were engaged in illegal mining and extraction in the Kelani River.

kelani-drowned

The drowned individual

During the raid, one suspect attempted to flee the location and jumped into the Kelani river. The individual was hospitalised but later succumbed to his injuries in the morning….

Eye-witness accounts…

Eyewitness 1: “The police didn’t allow us to rescue him, they chased him with poles, he drowned right in front of our own eyes.”

Eyewitness 2: “I shouted saying that someone was drowning, when a miner attmepted to resuce the person, an STF officer said that if he rescued him,  he would be shot”

The other side of the story

According to a relative of the deceased, the drowned individual had gone to bathe with his friends on Monday and had gone to visit the site later. The relative added that the group had fled in fear after seeing the police.

“We went to their rescue, but by that time the police had allowed him drown”,  the relative said.

News 1st contacted the Police STF

When contacted, the Police STF said that they began searching for another individual when the arrested persons informed them that one person is missing. The STF added that its personnel moved to rescue the individual with the assistance of the locals.

According to the STF, persons level false allegations against the force as the STF continues to prevent such rackets from taking place in the Kelani River.

Meanwhile, the News 1st correspondent says the area residents had attempted to protest against the STF, but it was prevented by a court order obtained by police.

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