ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 24

Upcountry gang linked to Tigers busted

By Shelton Hettiarachchi

A gang connected to the LTTE in the Ragala area in Nuwara Eliya district who were raiding liquor shops to collect money, was arrested police said.

Police said that on the night of November 3 the gang was reported to have broken into a liquor shop at Medawatta and then gone to Ragala town to continue the robbing spree when one of them, later identified as Karate Raja of Mahacoodagala Ragala, was shot dead by a policeman. Another gang member who received gunshot injuries was admitted to the Nuwara Eliya hospital and later transferred to the Kandy Hospital.

Police said that continuing investigations on the following they found another member of the gang wounded and hiding under some tea bushes in the Medawatta area. He was identified as K. Krishnapillai of Batticaloa. When he was being taken to hospital in a Police vehicle he had attempted to struggle with a police officer causing the vehicle to veer off the road as a consequence of which another policeman had shot him. The twice-wounded man had been admitted to the ICU of the Kandy Hospital.

Another member of the gang identified as S. Kumaravel of Mannar was found hiding in a farm belonging to a relative of Karate Raja. Kumaravel said to have had connections with the LTTE and bearing identification No.1555 was arrested on November 6 by a team led by Ragala HQI D.M.M. Dissanayake.

Police then accompanied the man to the house of Karate Raja where firearms were reported to be hidden. Here the suspect had extracted a cyanide capsule from a wall in the house and swallowed it resulting in the police taking him to Nuwara Eliya hospital, but he had died on the way.

It was reported that the mastermind behind the gang was an LTTEer known as Sudath.

The gang had earlier reportedly looted three wine shops in Gonakelle, High Forest and Kandapola.

A police team headed by SSP Nuwara Eliya M. Samaradiwakara is in charge of investigations.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.