Policemen sentenced for forcing youth to marry
[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 July 2000, 17:02 GMT]
The Batticaloa district judge Wednesday sentenced three Sri Lankan Policemen to six months rigorous imprisonment each on three counts and three months R.I on one count for abducting a youth and forcibly marrying him to a girl who had allegedly been made pregnant by one of their officers. The judge, J.Viswanathan, said that the court is not giving the Policemen suspended sentences in view of the increasing incidents of people being threatened by armed persons. The judge issued an arrest warrant on another Policeman involved in the case who is absconding.
The three Policemen, Wesley Francisco, G.M Gajanayaka and K.Sanath Kumara, along with their absconding colleague attached to the Batticaloa district Police headquarters were accused of abducting Jude Sunsley Ockerz on July 7, 1996 at Arasady junction in Batticaloa town and forcing him to marry June Lawrence.
Jude's parents lodged a complaint with the Batticaloa Police the next day about the abduction and forced marriage. That night unidentified gunmen shot dead Jude's parents at their residence in Iruthayapuram, a suburb of Batticaloa town.
Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham TULF MP for Batticaloa visited the scene of the murder and wrote to the Sri Lankan President asking her to hold an inquiry into the killing immediately as the involvement of Police personnel linked to Jude's abduction was strongly suspected in the murder of Mr and Mrs Ockerz. No action, however, has been taken so far to bring the killers of Jude's parents to book Mr. Pararajasingham told TamilNet.
A case was filed in the Batticaloa district court about jude's abduction and forced marriage on August 16, 1996. It was revealed during the proceedings that Francisco and an officer at the Batticaloa Police headquarters had had a liaison with June Lawrence and she was pregnant as a consequence. The girl never appeared in the case as she had fled the town soon after the murder of Jude's parents and had gone abroad later.
C.Satchithanantham appeared for the prosecution and G.Kumaralingam for the accused.