Written by Zulfick Farzan
29 Apr, 2022 | 9:46 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); Former SSP for Kegalle K. B. Keerthiratne, and three police contables who were arrested on Thursday (28) in connection to the shooting incident durign a protest in Rambukkana, Kegalle will be produced in court on Friday (29).
Senior DIG & Senior Police Spokesperson Ajith Rohana speaking to News 1st on Thursday (28) said that four police officers were arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department as per an order issued by the Kegalle Magistrate’s Court.
SSP K. B. Keerthiratne was arrested while he was at the Narahenpita Police Hospital and the three police constables who were part of the firing team were arrested while at the Kundasale Police Hospital.
Police Spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa speaking to News 1st on Friday (29) said the SSP Keerthiratne will be produced to the Colombo Court, and the three constables will be produced to the Kandy Court.
He added that K. B. Keerthiratne had ordered to open fire during the protest in Rambukkana, and the police contables had opened fire at the protestors.
The Rambukkana protests erupted over delayed petrol deliveries and sharp price increases in petrol and diesel announced on Monday, the 18th of April 2022.
On Tuesday, the 19th of April 2022, demonstrators blocked main roads and a railway line.
Police began directing tear gas at thousands of protesters in the afternoon and then suddenly, without warning, opened fire with live rounds.
Chaminda Lakshan, a 40-year-old father of two from Naranbedda, a village near Rambukkana, was shot. He died soon after being admitted to Kegalle hospital.
Earlier, Sri Lanka’s Public Security Minister told Parliament on Friday (22) that preliminary investigations have revealed that Assistant Superintendent of Police C. W. C. Dharmaratne & Senior Superintendent of Police K. B. Keerthiratne had instructed to open fire to control the situation in Rambukkana on the 19th of April 2022.
He said the investigations are in their preliminary stages, and following a comprehensive investigation, the report will be tabled in Parliament.
POLICE OFFICERS TRANSFERRED :
The Senior Superintendent of Police for the Kegalle Division, Superintendent of Police for the Rambukkana area, and the OIC of the Rambukkana Police, were transferred to the Police Field Force Headquarters in Colombo.
The investigations that were carried out by the SSP in charge of the Seethawakapura Division was taken over by the Criminal Investigations Department.
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION:
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka appointed a four-member team to investigate the Rambukkana shooting, that left one person dead and dozens injured.
On the direction of the the Chairman at HRCSL, a special team was appointed to hold an inquiry as to determine who is responsible for issuing the orders to shoot, and the circumstances under which the shooting with live bullets took place.
The team comprises of Sulari Liyanagama, Menaka Herath, Lal Weerasinghe, and A.S. Nilantha, and they have left for Rambukkana for the inquiry.
Further, the HRC noted that based on the report of the findings, the commission will make the necessary recommendation.
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