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Police refute murder allegation

Panadura Chief Magistrate Chandima Liyanage directed Western Province Deputy Inspector General of Police to hold a comprehensive investigation into the cause of death of a patient who escaped from the Panadura Base Hospital on February 19.

His body was found at the foot of a high building situated close to the Panadura South Police the next day.

Relatives of the deceased, W. Wasantha Kumara, were not satisfied with the investigations conducted by the Panadura South Police Crime Branch.

When further magisterial inquiry was conducted on February 21, Attorney-at-law Namal Perera appearing for the wife of the deceased, informed court that she suspected that her husband was murdered. The police had not conducted a proper inquiry into the death of her husband, she alleged.

The wife suspected that when he escaped from the hospital, he had come to the Panadura South Poilce and the policemen on duty that night had assaulted him and chased him out of the station. The lawyer produced a CD before court.

Panadura South Police ASP Clement Fernando who conducted an inquiry into the allegation of the deceased’s assault by policemen, denied that the police had assaulted him when he visited the station that night.

However, the ASP mentioned in his report submitted to the Police that the policemen on that night had been negligent in duty and action will be taken against him.

Ragama Hospital AJMO Dr. Kumarage who had performed the autopsy on W. Wasantha Kumara on the orders of the Panadura Chief Magistrate had submitted his report to court and informed that there were no assault injuries on the body of the deceased, but the injuries had been caused when he fell from a high spot.

Police Sergeant Samanlal Edirisinghe, representing the Panadura South Police, informed court that the deceased had been a patient of the Panadura Base Hospital and had escaped from the hospital and visited the Panadura Police Station and when he made a scene, policemen had asked him to go.

He then left and the following day his body was found at the foot of a four-storeyed building situated at a distance of the Panadura South Police

The Police summoned the Chief Magistrate to the scene and conducted the magisterial inquiry. He ordered the Ragama Hospital AJMO to perform the autopsy on the body of the deceased and submit the judicial report.

Panadura ASP Clement Fernando had conducted an inquiry on the orders of the court and submitted his report that some of the policemen on duty had performed duties negligently and an inquiry is pending.