Kirindiwala Police tortured a man to fulfill the whims of a third party

(September 20, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Kirigalbadage Chaminda Sanath Kumara (38) of No: 171/1, Bodiya Road, Walapola, Papiliwala in the district of Gampaha is married and a labourer by profession. Police officers of the Kirindiwala Police Station came to his house, supposedly to investigate a complaint made by the victim's Sister-in-Law and even though the matter had been settled by a Mediation Board they arrested the victim and severely tortured him at the police station. After a series of operations the victim now suffers memory loss. This case is yet another example of the Sri Lankan police acting illegally to fulfill the whims of a third party.


According to the information that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) received Mr. Kirigalbadage Chaminda Sanath Kumara (38) of No: 171/1, Bodiya Road, Walapola, Papiliwala in the district of Gampaha is married and a labourer by profession.

On 24 August 2011 police officers attached to the Kirindiwala Police Station came to his house and were met by Sanath's wife, Ms. Rupika Wijekanthige. The officers without offering an explanation rudely demanded the whereabouts of Sanath. When he appeared before the officers they accused him of having an exchange of words with his Sister-in-Law who stays in his parent's house. Sanath explained to the officers that he had had words with his Sister-in-Law as she had abandoned and maltreated his parents. Sanath further explained to the officers that when his Sister-in-Law complained to the Kirindiwala Police Station regarding the incident the case was referred to the Mediation Board and the matter was settled already. To prove this he showed the officers the document issued by the Mediation Board on the settlement. While he was trying to take the settlement paper which was on the top of the cupboard he fell to the ground and received a small injury to his head. At that time it was not bleeding.

Then the officers shouted at him and his wife and took him to the police station. Sanath was put into a cell and a few moments later the officers started to assault him until he once again fell to the ground. At this point the wound he had previously received started bleeding heavily and Sanath started to vomit.

One and a half hours after Sanath was taken from his house the police called his Sister-in-Law and wife requesting them to come to the Radawana Government Hospital as his condition was serious. Then immediately Rupika and Sanath's mother rushed to the hospital. At the hospital they found that Sanath was bleeding severely from a head wound and that there was even a large amount of blood on the floor. There was also evidence that he had vomited.

The police officers asked Rupika to enter her name as the guardian who admitted Sanath into the hospital. But Rupika refused and stated that when Sanath was arrested he was in good health and that they were responsible for his present condition. The police officers tried to force the hospital staff to change the entry notes in the hospital books which the staff members vehemently refused to do.

Sometime later Rupika and Sanath's mother returned home. At around 1 am in the morning of the following day, a group of police officers arrived at Sanath's house and told Rupika that they wanted to make a search of the house. Rupika and her daughter had to wait outside but they observed that the officers were making notes and moving the belonging about. She understood then that the officers were making notes to prove that Sanath was injured inside the house to cover up the case of his torture by the police officers.

Meanwhile Sanath's mother came to the scene. The officers asked her to sign the documents they had prepared. The mother was seriously frightened and feared for Sanath's life if she refused to sign. She eventually signed the documents which were never read or never explained to her. Following this the officers left the house.

The police officers asked Rupika to go to the hospital at 5 am and then to the police station. Rupika went to see the Sanath along with his elder brother and elder sister. The hospital authorities informed them that even though the patient was in severe condition they could not transfer him to another hospital due to the lack of ambulance facilities. The family members then brought Sanath to the Wathupitiwala District Hospital by a private vehicle.

Just after he was admitted to this hospital the authorities transferred Sanath to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) in Colombo for further treatment. He was treated as an indoor patient in the NHSL and underwent several surgical operations.

After he was discharged Sanath suffers from memory loss and is unable to cope with his day to day work as a labourer.

Two days after Sanath was admitted to the NHSL police officers arrived at the house and informed Rupika to come to the station and meet the Officer-in-Charge (OIC). She met the OIC who informed her that he was ready to take action against the police officers if Sanath had been tortured after arrest. He further asked Rupika to request Sanath to assist him by giving a statement to the police. However, Rupika states that still nothing has happened with regard to the investigation.

Rupika states that Sanath was severely tortured after being illegally arrested by the police officers to fulfill the whims and fancies of his Sister-in-Law. Rupika further states that even though Sanath proved that the matter they were investigating had been settled they continued to arrest him without any regard to due process established by the law. She further states that police officers during whole process of arrest used obscene language even before her and being a woman she felt that she also had been abused.

Rupika states that the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution for Sanath were violated by the police officers. She further states that the OIC knowing clearly that Sanath was severely tortured did not take any action to investigate the case, and is in turn responsible for the rights violation as he is protecting the responsible police officers.

Source: Asian Human Rights Commission and Right 2 Life                                             

The victim narrated the way he was tortured in the video here. 

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