By Camelia Nathaniel
Investigations are underway to arrest the suspects who fired at the JVP meeting in Katuwana in Hambantota, Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakone, addressing a press conference in Colombo yesterday said, several teams have been assigned in this regard, while the area police have questioned 25 persons and recorded their statements. The CID has also questioned a further 23 and recorded their statements, he added.
He said due to the severity of the incident on 16 June, a special CID team was also deployed to investigate the incident.
“One person who had allegedly taken part in the attack had been identified during the questioning. Therefore, we will take measures to arrest the person on information gathered and the current investigations,” he said.
The IGP added that so far no arrests had been made. “Just because a name had been mentioned we cannot label a person as a suspect. We will be conducting our investigations and if it is proven that the person identified has a connection to the shooting he will certainly be arrested. However, the person named is on the wanted list of the police for several other murders and abduction cases. Therefore we are on the hunt to apprehend him,” he said.
The JVP however has expressed dissatisfaction with regard to the extent of investigations being carried out thus far. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo on Sunday (17), JVP Polit-Bureau member Anura Kumara Dissanayaka stated that certain groups were attempting to portray the incident as a rift between the JVP and another faction.
However, the Director General of Media Centre for National Security, Laxman Hulugalle said the shooting is suspected to be an internal dispute among two JVP groups. “Making a statement earlier I mentioned that it could be a JVP internal conflict. In fact the breakaway groups of the JVP have made complaints to the IGP regarding the JVP. It was with proof in hand that I stated that the JVP internal conflicts could have been the reason for the shooting. Just as Ajith Kumara can point fingers, I too as the Director General of the Media Centre for National Security have the right to defend the government,” he added.
A woman and a youth were killed in the shooting.
Meanwhile the the Walasamulla District Court has issued a restraining order, preventing activities which would disturb public peace, during the funeral of the two people who were killed during a JVP meeting in Katuwana on Friday night, from taking place yesterday.
The order was issued on the husband and the father of one of the victims.
The Police Superintendent in charge of Tangalle had informed Court that actions which disrupt the peace, such as processions, meetings, erecting banners across roads, the distribution of handbills, and assaulting police, could take place.
Accordingly, Court ordered the relevant parties not to engage in actions which could be deemed illegal and disrupt the peace. The order issued by the court also prevents actions, which could cause disrespect to those killed in the attack.