ARREST OF REAL PERPETRATORS IMMINENT

The family members of the prisoners killed in the Welikada prison riot in 2012 held a demonstration in front of the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday demanding the arrest of all those responsible for the incident.

Colombo additional Magistrate Ranga Dissanayaka yesterday observed that the real perpetrators involved in the killing of 27 prisoners at Welikada in 2012, should be arrested immediately.

He said the inquiry into the deaths suggested that inmates had died after being shot in their heads and chests. The Additional Magistrate said it was revealed through the post-mortem reports that the victims had died after being shot in their heads and chests.

The Additional Magistrate made this remark in response to a request made by aggrieved party lawyer Senaka Perera.He queried as to who had ordered the security forces to enter the Welikada prison.

Counsel Senaka Perera informed court that the security forces had entered the prison without obtaining a search warrant and the CID should conduct an inquiry as to who had influenced them to do so.

The Magistrate observed that counsel for the aggrieved party was making a request in terms of Section 124 of the Criminal Procedure Code and ordered the CID to investigate regarding the persons who conspired to commit the alleged offence.

Meanwhile, Inspector Neomal Rangajeewa of the Police Narcotics Bureau and former Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa were yesterday ordered to be further remanded till May 8 by Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake in connection with the Welikada prison riot in 2012.

Senior State Counsel Madhawa Thennakoon who appeared on behalf of the CID stated that a special investigation unit had commenced investigations regarding the death threats allegedly received by the wife of the main witness in the Welikada prison riot case.

The lawyers who appeared on behalf of the aggrieved party sought an order directing the CID to investigate the high ranking police officers who ordered them to enter the prison.

Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered the Prison superintendent to refer the Suspects to a psychiatrist through the Judicial Medical Officer.

The Additional Magistrate also ordered the CID to expedite investigations. Inspector Neomal Rangajeewa of the Police Narcotics Bureau and Prison Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa were arrested by the CID on March 28 in connection with the Welikada prison riot shooting.

Twenty-seven inmates were killed and more than 20 others injured in the shooting during the riot on November 9, 2012 when prisoners took control of the populated prison objecting to an unannounced search by the Special Task Force to nab hidden arms, drugs and mobile phones at the prison.

The Colombo Additional Magistrate fixed the case for May 8. 

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