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18 year old youth in Badulla....
questioned 
     "Didn't you dig a treasure?" ....
dies by police assault

An unfortunate incident where Sandun, an 18 year old youth was taken into custody and remanded in relation to a case of digging a treasure was assaulted by police and had died as a result was reported in Meegahakivula area, Kandaketiya, Badulla.

On a tip off received that a treasure had been dug having gained access to a reserve in Bogahapathana area in Meegahakivula, a team of police officers had accosted the deceased and 5 others in a three-wheeler on which occasion they had been travelling in last 7th May on suspicion, in Meegahakivula accusing him of this offense.

Subsequently, as a result of his ailing condition this youth had been admitted to Badulla General Hospital on 10th May after which his relatives had come to know through police that he had died there. whatever it is, the deceased's mother,father and some relatives have accused the police that the youth had died as a consequence of police assault. when the body was brought to Meegahakivula town, people in the area who rocked to the town had engaged in a protest walk.

The deceased in this instance is Perumahewa Sandun Malinga,an 18 year old living in Cosmo Farm, Akurukaduwa, Meegahakivula. He had registered his marriage and was preparing to marry the girl.

He had with 4 others and a brother had purchased a three-wheeler and was returning with the vehicle when they were stopped on the way and was questioned by the police on the accusation that a treasure had been dug after which all 4 of them were taken into custody. The youth concerned was admitted to hospital having been assaulted by the police during interrogation and had subsequently died.

The deceased's mother Kanda Uda Mallika (46) described the incident as follows: "I openly say without fear that this child who was perfectly healthy was killed by the police. Before he died, he had told about this to us and his elder brother who was beside him.

The deceased is my younger son. 18 years of age. On the 7th evening he told me that a three-wheeler was for sale and that he would buy it. He set off from home. My elder son and 3 other family members who were in our house went with him.

Late till night they didn't turn up. Thinking that they'll come, we went to sleep. Around 12.30 in the night we came to know that all of them had been taken to police.

Immediately we went to police. My son and the others who went with him had been locked up. I went up to my son and spoke to him. On that occasion my son was crying and told was telling me that the police had assaulted him mercilessly. He said that his chest was paining and that he was feeling serious.

We went early in the morning the following day too. On that occasion too he complained of the chest pain. He even pointed out a constable there and said, "That is the man who hit me severely".

When we said that the child's condition is serious,they said that he'll be taken to Kandaketiya Hospital and would later be produced in courts. According to news received, we went to Passara courts.

Around 3.oo in the afternoon my son and the others were brought to courts and then sent to jail. We returned home. On the 10th morning we got news that my son had died at Badulla hospital.

By this time a special team of policemen had been taken 7 persons into custody over this incident of death.They are 1 Sub-Inspector including 2 police constables and 2 from the Home Guards and Police Scurity Services who had conducted the raid.

It was revealed at the post-mortem that the youth had died as a result of internal injuries in the body sustained from the assault.

Duties of the police officers who had been taken into custody in relation to this incident of the patient's death have been terminated.The officers of Kandaketiya Police under custody have been remanded by Badulla Courts.The identification parade is scheduled to be held next 16th May.


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