Arjuna arrested, granted bail

The Colombo Crimes Division yesterday evening arrested the former Minister of Petroleum Resources Development, MP Arjuna Ranatunge in connection with the shooting incident that took place within the CPC premises on Sunday. Ranatunga was released on bail with a surety of Rs 500,000after being produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage.

The shooting took place during a tense situation that erupted when a group of employees expressed their objection to the former Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunge entering the CPC premises with his security officers.

Three CPC employees were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital with serious injuries and one of them, who was in a critical situation died while receiving treatment at the hospital.

The gunfire was opened by one of the Security Officers of the former minister and he was arrested by the police soon after the incident. Later, the Colombo Crimes Division, on the instructions of the Inspector General of Police, conducted an investigation into the incident and made the arrest, Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. The former minister was to be produced before the Colombo Magistrate Court yesterday.

Meanwhile, the strike staged by several Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Trade Unions soon after the shooting incident was called off by them with the arrest of MP Ranatunge. The CPC employees totally condemned the shooting incident that took place within the CPC premises and staged this strike forcing the authorities into strict law enforcement against the offenders. Thereby, the employees expected the authorities to ensure the prevention of a recurrence of such tragedies in the future.

The CPC sources yesterday morning warned of a possible fuel shortage throughout the country if the strike continued further by disturbing the fuel distribution. 

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