Vavuniya Judge orders SLA Officers to appear in Court

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 March 2006, 18:11 GMT]
Following complaints registered with the Vavuniya District Judge M. Ilancheliyan by residents of Sasthrikoolankulam of alleged Sri Lanka Army (SLA) involvement in the killing of a merchant on Friday, the Judge ordered the Commanding Officers of Kalmadu, Pampaimadu and Thandikulam army camps to appear in courts on Monday, legal sources in Vavuniya said.

Ponniah Murugesu, 40, was shot dead at 8.30 p.m. Friday by persons who arrived at Sasthrikoolankulam in a white van. Nagappan Ramesh, 39, a shop assistant, was injured in the shooting.

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Following the incident, Vavuniya District Judge visited the site on Saturday and had discussions with residents of the area.

Local witnesses had told the Judge: "A white van came to the site of the incident on the previos day, Thursday. The same people who came in the van were the gunmen at Firday's shooting. Two Sinhala letters (U Ha) were inscribed on that white van. On Friday, six men arrived in the van and two remained in the van while the other four got down. Two men stood close to the van while the other two entered Mr. Murugesu's shop and shot him dead."

"Twenty minutes before the incident took place, soldiers who came to that area on a motor cycle had a look at the site," eyewitnesses told the Judge.

Neighbours who took the dead person and the injured man to the hospital.

"An hour after the incident, the SLA soldiers who were at the site demanded a local resident to bring water. When the person showed up, they the soldiers beat him and left the place."

"The soldiers returned after 2 hours and asked him whether the injured person would die or survive. They also asked whether he could identify the gunmen."

Having listened to these statements, Mr.M . Ilanchelian ordered the Commanding Officers of Kalmadu, Pampaimadu and Thandikulam army camps located around Sasthrikoolankulam to appear in courts on Monday and give their statements.

In this connection the order issued to the Vavuniya ASP states "if one is asked to to appear for an inquiry in connection with a crime, under section 307 (05) of the Criminal Act the magistrate can order the said person to appear in courts. At the same time the witness could be ordered to produce to the courts documents and evidences connected with the said incident. But if the order is violated, under section 307 (06) the said person could be brought to courts and his statement taken," legal sources in Vavuniya said.

Legal sources added the SLA Commanding officers have to obtain warrants from the court and produce them in the court if they intend to violate Judge's orders.

Meanwhile, the District Judge has issued written orders to Vavuniya Police Officer in Charge, Tennekoon, to make arrangements for the injured person to be treated at a hospital in another district and to provide security. He has also issued written orders to Major General Edirisighe to make arrangements for the Commanding Officers to be produced in courts.

 

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