More arrests in Niranjan murder case
By Tania Fernando
The Criminal Investigations Department is expected to arrest a few more persons in connection with the murder of Niranjan Waithyalingam Vellasamy, a cousin of Minister Arumugam Thondaman and chief Organizer for the CWC in Kotmale.

An Official of the CID said they were questioning a resident of Kollupitiya allegedly involved in the murder of 27-year-old millionaire businessman, who was killed over a land dispute.

According to investigations, Niranjan had sold 100 acres of land belonging to a tea estate to the accused. The accused who had wanted to resell the land was prevented from doing so on a Court order obtained by Niranjan.

The victim had complained to the police of receiving threatening calls regularly.

Niranjan, a father of two children aged 4 years and 2 years, was shot around 10.30 PM just outside a hotel in Kollupitiya on Wednesday (31st). Three bullets were found in his head while one was found in the car. He was a regular visitor to this hotel whenever in Colombo.

CID officials said that they had arrested the accused on previous occasions for taming items to the North, without proper permission. They also said that they believe that this was a contract killing and are conducting further investigation.

The accused was produced before the Colombo Magistrate and has been remanded till August 14.

DIG Punya de Silva asked to pay Rs. 60,000
The Supreme Court this week awarded Rs 170,000 to Captain Y.K.Abeyratne, the Officer-in-Charge of the Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Camp as compensation and costs for the infringement of his fundamental rights by the officers of the Criminal Investigation Department.

Captain Banda who was the Officer-in-Charge of the Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation Camp where a number of Tamil inmates were massacred had filed a fundamental rights petition, citing CID Director Keerthi Gajanayake, Inspector Linton, SP Nandana Munasinghe, DIG Punya de Silva all of CID and IGP as well as the Attorney General as respondents.

Bench comprising Justices Mark Fernando, D.P.S.Gunasekera and C.V.Wigneswaran awarded Rs 120,000 as compensation for the infringement of his fundamental rights to freedom from arbitrary detention guaranteed under Article 13(2) of which one half shall be paid by DIG Punya de Silva of the CID personally and Rs 30,000 as compensation for the infringement of his fundamental right to freedom from arbitrary arrest which shall be paid by CID Director Keerthi Gajanayake, CID Inspector Linton and SP Nandana Munasinghe of the CID personally in equal shares. Court also awarded Rs 20,000 as costs payable by the State.

These payment shall be made on or before September. The registrar was directed to forward copies of the judgement and the pleadings and documents produced in this case to the Public Services Commission(PSC) to enable the PSC to consider disciplinary action against those responsible for the arrest and detention of Captain Banda.

Court observed that the CID had failed to follow the procedure prescribed by the Emergency Regulations by failing to hand over Captain Banda to the Bandarawela Police.

Court also observed that Captain Banda was made a convenient scapegoat and kept out of circulation until public attention was directed elsewhere.

In a sequence to the incident of a gruesome massacre of nearly 24 inmates in the said camp on October 25 of 2000, the CID next day informed Captain Banda that they wished to question him along with Lt. Abeyratne and they were brought to the 4th floor of the CID headquarters, Colombo.

On October 29, he was informed by IP Kumarasinghe that he had been detained under a detention order. Captain Banda said that there was no evidence of a reasonable suspicion against him at the time of his arrest.

Chula Bandara appeared for the petitioner. Senior State Counsel Shavindra Fernando appeared for the respondents

……… and another Rs. 50,000
The Supreme Court this week awarded Rs 150,000 as compensation to a torture victim who filed a fundamental rights violation petition against CID officers.

The Bench comprising Justices Mark Fernando, D.P.S. Gunasekera and Hector S. Yapa awarded compensation where Rs. 50,000 to be payable by the State while Rs. 50,000 each to be payable by DIG Punya de Silva and SSP Bandula Wickremasinghe of the CID personally.

Petitioner Saranapala was taken into custody on August 13, 1998 in connection with the Majestic Mudalali murder case at 1.45 p.m. at Rahumaniya Hotel, Town Hall while having his lunch. In his petition, Saranapala inter alia stated that after his arrest by the CID, he was taken to the Bandaragama Police Station. Thereafter he was brought to his house. Police personnel kept a grenade in the garden of his house, accused him of hiding a grenade and assaulted him.

He alleged that he was illegally arrested because of his connection with the then opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Anura Bastian.

He said the police gave no reason for his arrest and neither was the receipt for this arrest given to his wife. He said he was taken to the CID and detained for three months. He filed a petition in the Court of Appeal in February 1999, against his arbitrary arrest and detention. Court of Appeal granted him an interim order for his bail.

He cited Sub-Inspector Rodrigo, Police Constable Jayasinghe, SSP Bandula Wickremasinghe, DIG Punya de Silva, all of the CID and the IGP as respondents. The court ordered the Public Services Commission to conduct a disciplinary inquiry against these police officers. Upul Jayasuriya with Iyanthi Abeywickrama instructed by Chula de Karunatillake appeared for the petitioner. State Counsel Riyaz Hamza appeared for the respondents.

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