A Sri Lankan court on Monday remanded till August 31 eleven police personnel allegedly involved in the abduction and torture of a student on August 4 over a dispute with the son of a senior police officer.
The officer’s son was arrested on Tuesday and the police are on the look out for his wife for her alleged complicity in the case. A spate of such cases in the last few weeks has triggered a public uproar.
At a rally on Tuesday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa took cognisance of public sentiments and said no one should be above the law and that the government would not protect violators of law.
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told Parliament that the good work done by the police during the campaign to crush terrorism had been tarnished by incidents such as the torture of the IT student and the Angulana shooting.
On August 14, residents of Angulana, a Colombo suburb, stormed a police station and blocked trains to protest the killing of two youth. The bodies of the two victims were found a day after the police arrested them. Local media reported the young men had “teased” the girlfriend of the local station house officer.
After the defeat of the LTTE, the government declared a war on the underworld and a number of underworld operators have been reported killed.
The Singapore-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), in a statement, said: “It is now a norm in Sri Lanka for arrested suspects to be killed while they are ‘trying to escape’ or ‘retrieving a hidden weapon’. Since most of the victims, hitherto, have been known criminals this practice has been tolerated by the media as well as the public.