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IGP orders probe into SSP, acting OIC clash in Kebithigollewa

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A special investigation has been launched on the orders of the Inspector General (IGP) regarding an allegation that the Senior Superintendent (SSP) in charge of the    Kebithigollewa Division Indika Lokuhetti assaulted the acting OIC of the Kebithigollewa station during a heated situation that arose when an inquiry was made from the acting OIC in relation to dealing in a manner which ensured that illegal liquor dealer who was arrested by officers of Kebathigollewa Division’s anti-corruption division was granted bail by the court. IGP C.D.Wickremaratne has appointed Senior DIG Lionel Gunatillaka in charge of the Trincomalee District to lead the investigation.

CI Subash Ariyaratne said that the SSP assaulted him at his office on January 24. He says the SSP hit him on the face. He is receiving treatment at the Kebithigollewa Hospital. Hospital information said that since the Acting OIC Subash Ariyaratne complained of head pain he was transferred to the Anuradhapura Hospital for further investigationsand treatment.

The SSP’s office Kebithigollewa said that no such assault took place and it was the acting OIC who initially clashed with the SSP. Information received says that the acting OIC had first

pushed the SSP who had retaliated by pushing the acting OIC and that he had fallen on to a chair.

Police information revealed that the reason for this incident is the raid of a kasippu racket operated by a person said to be an uncle of a female police inspector working at the

Kebithigollewa Police Station. The illegal liquor racketeer named Basnayakege Padmasiri, the police said is a resident of Hendegama, Kebithigollewa. A number of petitions had been received

by the Kebithigollewa SSP from villagers this person was distributing illicit liquor all over the village but that the Kebithigollewa Police was not arresting him. The petitions lodged by the

villagers mentioned the Woman Police Officer’s relationship to the liquor racketeer as well as a friendship between she and the Acting OIC and that as a result, this kasippu racketeer was receiving protection from the police.

The SSP who had focused special attention on these petitions had informed officers of the divisional anti-corruption sector to carry out an investigation. Accordingly, these officers had taken this kasippu dealer into custody on 22 January together with equipment used to filter the illicit liquor and about 20,000 milliliters of illicit liquor in 27 bottles.

As the OIC had gone to Colombo to participate in a conference being held by Minister Tiran Alles it was Chief Inspector Subash Ariyaratne who had been serving as the acting OIC. Since this officer had been mentioned in the petitions lodged by villagers the SSP had personally informed him to submit facts to the court to ensure that the suspect would not be granted bail by the court. Police information said that the SSP had pointed out that if that did not happen there was a likelihood of villagers expressing their strong disgust towards the police.

However, subsequent to the illicit liquor dealer being produced at the Kebithigollewa court on January 23, police information said he had been released on bail. When an inquiry was made regarding this, it had become apparent to the SSP that the instructions he had given had been

ignored completely and the police had acted in a manner that ensured that the illicit liquor dealer was granted bail.

The SSP had summoned the acting OIC to his office to inquire into this on January 24. According to information received from the police, the SSP had found fault with the acting OIC and mentioned the facts stated about him in the petitions submitted by the villagers. The acting OIC

had lost his temper at this juncture and behaved in a violent manner and subsequently got himself admitted to hospital saying that the SSP assaulted him.

The acting OIC, CI Subash Ariyaratne who is alleged to have been assaulted by the SSP is still at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital receiving treatment and he was expected to be subject to an examination by the Consultant Judicial Medical Officer of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital yesterday (25).


Thursday, January 26, 2023 – 01:00

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