Youth tortured, shot by Police - Judge
[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 October 1999, 11:08 GMT]
The Kalmunai Magistrate retuned today a verdict of homicide in the death of Sathasivam Sanjeevan, 19, a student of WesleyCollege in the eastern town. Sanjeevan was shot dead on 15 October 1998, while being held under the detention of Kalmunai police.
The court ruled that the student had been tortured and died of gun shot injuries. However, the police claimed that the student was killed when the Liberation Tigers ambushed the police unit which was transporting him to the Ampara.
Sanjeevan was arrested by the Kalmunai Police during a search operation in Paandiruppu on 13 October 1998. The police later handed over his body to the Ampara Hospital.
Following a hospital inquest, the police handed over the body to his parents, and ordered them to bury it immediately.
The body of Sanjeevan was exhumed on 22 October 1998, on orders by the Kalmunai Court, and an autopsy was done by the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) for the Batticaloa District, Dr.K.Chandrapalan.
The JMO's report revealed that the student had been tortured and shot dead at close range either by AK-47 or T-56 type riffle.
The regional co-ordinator of the Human Rights Commission in Kalmunai, R.Manoharan, filed a case at the Kalmunai Court on suspicion that the boy was tortured, shot and killed by the police.
It was pointed that Sanjeevan's death was unlikely to have been caused by an LTTE ambush as none of the policemen in the jeep were even wounded in the reported incident.
Attorney-at-law, M.K.Perinparasa appeared on behalf of the victim's family.
In his verdict today, the Kalmunai Magistrate, Anton Balasingham, ordered the criminal investigators to conduct further investigations.
The Magistrate further directed the Sammanthurai Police to take legal actions against the suspects.