Police torture suspected in detainee's death
[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A person who was arrested by the Sri Lankan Police yesterday in Batticaloa was found dead in his cell. Sources in the eastern town said there is reason to suspect Police torture was the reason for the death.
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham TULF Ministor of Parliament (MP) for Batticaloa sent a fax to the Inspector General of the Sri Lankan Police demanding an immediate inquiry.
The MP also informed the IG of the activity of unknown groups in Batticaloa which were assaulting civilians.
The MP's fax states - "Mr. Sivalingam Dharmarajan and his brother in law Mr. Vigneswaran of Iruthayapuram east, batticaloa were taken into custody by the Batticaloa Police yesterday 18.3.1998 on a complaint made to the Police in respect of a theft that took place in Iruthayapuram.
"Both were questioned by the Police and later it was reported that Mr. Sivalingam Dharmarajan was found dead in the Police cell.
"The Police say that he had hanged himself in the cell and committed suicide.
"But the mysterious circumstances that lead to the death of Sivalingam Dharmarajan raises many questions and suspicions in the minds of the public."
Meanwhile, many incidents of persons being taken by unknown groups and assaulted or severely beaten are also taking place in the Batticaloa town. One glaring example is the case of the Acting Accountant of the Batticaloa Municipal council, Mr.Kousthuwamany who is alleged to have been removed from his residence in the Municipal quarters at St.Anthony's road Batticaloa by some unknown persons on the night of 17.3.1998.
Later he was found badly assaulted and left bleeding on the roadside of Advocate Lane, Batticaloa"