Police sabotage rape trial, threaten MP
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Koneswary rape and murder case was postponed again today at the Kalmunai courts this afternoon as an Assistant superintendent of Police failed to turn up due to "unavoidable circumstances".
The judge directed that the ASP should be summoned by January 5, next year. The case will be taken up for hearing again on January 6, 1998.
Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham MP and Mr. S. Selvanayagam, a journalist working with the Sunday Times news paper, were present in courts.
The Police have cited them as witnesses.
Mr. Joseph said this evening that the Police are trying to threaten him and the Tamil journalist who reported the matter by calling both as witnesses.
"Witnesses to what" he asked, adding that this was sheer harassment.
Murugesapillai Koneswary, 35, a mother of four children was raped by five Sinhalese policemen from the Central Camp Police station on the Batticaloa Ampara district border on May 17 this year.
The Policemen exploded a grenade in her pudenda, killing her on the spot. They then took the remains of her body to the Kalmunai base hospital and compelled the medical staff there to release it without a post-mortem to relatives for burial.
Relatives and family members were threatened into silence following the incident by Policemen from the Central Camp station.
The matter was highlighted by Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham. Mr. Selvanayagam reported the MP's efforts to force the government to conduct an inquiry into the matter.
As a result of Mr. Joseph's endeavours, Koneswary's body was exhumed and sent for autopsy. Mr. Joseph said that nothing has been heard of the autopsy since then.
"If the Police can harass a member of Parliament in this manner, what can ordinary people who have to give evidence in this case do ?" he asked.