Mother finds deaf son in prison 6 days after he went missing

By Pushpa Weerasekera

A hearing impaired youth accused of stealing a mobile phone from a bus passenger was beaten up by the police and remanded in the Negombo prison for six days before his family finally located him.

Asanka Weerasuriya, a 20-year-old resident of Wariyapola, told his mother that he was unable to explain himself to the police and was not allowed to contact his family. The youth maintains that he is innocent of the charge brought against him.

The youth’s mother, Jessica Nandaseeli, said her son had voluntarily called at the Anamaduwa Police Station, on August 19, to say he had not stolen the mobile phone. Officers at the station then started to beat him up.

“They hit me with belt and batons,” Mr. Weerasuriya said. “My body was covered with bruises and swellings the next day. The police threatened me and said I was to behave when I was produced in court. I could not contact my family.”

Fellow inmates at the Negombo Prison treated Mr. Weerasuriya’s wounds and helped him contact his family.

Mr. Weerasuriya was given bail by the Puttalam Magistrate’s Court on August 26. Mrs. Nandaseeli and her son have subsequently visited the DIG and SSP offices in Puttalam.

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