SLA ragging kills soldier, 16 remanded

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 December 2002, 15:07 GMT]
The Chavakachcheri acting Magistrate Tuesday ordered sixteen soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to be held in remand in connection with the ragging death of a fellow soldier, S.Ratnayake (25) of Balangoda, legal sources in Jaffna said.

This incident took place at Muhamalai forward defence line of the SLA in Jaffna district Sunday. Six other soldiers have been admitted in the Jaffna teaching hospital with injuries inflicted by severe ragging by a group of senior soldiers, sources said.

The army authorities Tuesday produced sixteen suspected SLA soldiers before the Chavakachcheri acting Magistrate Mr.M.Thirunavukkarasu. Army officials told court that the deceased soldier died suddenly during training exercise.

However, the acting Magistrate who visited the scene earlier and viewed the body of the dead soldier told army officials that he had seen assault injuries on the body of the deceased soldier. The acting magistrate then ordered the sixteen soldiers to be remanded till January 2 and instructed the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer to conduct autopsy on the body of the dead soldier.

The acting Magistrate released the body of the soldier to be taken to his hometown Balangoda in the south, court sources said.

Meanwhile, on the instruction of the Commander of the SLA, Lt Colonel Lionel Balagalle, a team of officials led by Major General Egodawila rushed to Jaffna by air and commenced an inquiry into this incident.

Major General Egodawila visited the Jaffna teaching hospital and recorded the statements from the six soldiers , hospital sources said.

 

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