Two male students attached to the Jaffna University sustained fatal injuries after they were shot at by the police for disobeying orders to stop their motorcycle at a roadblock at the Kulappidi Junction in Kankesanthurai early today.
The two students who were returning after attending a party in one of the student’s house in Chunnakam around 3.00 am had been ordered to stop by a night police unit stationed at a roadblock at the Kulappidi Junction.
The students who were said to have been under the influence of liquor had defied police orders and sped without stopping, forcing the latter to open fire at them, the sources said.
The rider of the motorcycle who had been shot twice in the head had been reportedly killed on the spot losing control of the motorcycle that rammed into a roadside parapet wall causing serious injuries to the pillion rider too.
The two victims had been rushed to the Jaffna Hospital and one of them was pronounced dead whilst the pillion rider succumbed to his condition shortly after.
The two ‘third-year’ students attached to the Arts Faculty of the Jaffna University had been identified as 24-year-old Sundiraja Sulakshan of Kandarodai in Chunnakam and Nadarasa Gajan of Kilinochchi.
Sulakshan who took his friend to his house the previous evening for a function was returning on his motorcycle to drop Gajan, who was staying at the university hostel.
Jaffna Magistrate S Satheeshkaran who arrived at the scene yesterday morning conducted the Magisterial Inquiry whilst the postmortem of the two bodies had been carried out at the Jaffna Hospital yesterday afternoon.
Although, unconfirmed reports indicated that the Judicial Medical Officer had found ammunition in the victim’s body, the report had not been publicized by the time this edition went to press last night.
The police in Jaffna who denied any shooting involving the incident maintained that the deaths were due to an accident.
Meanwhile, the Government Information Department issued a statement yesterday afternoon saying that five policemen had been arrested in connection with the student deaths and were interdicted with immediate effect.
A special team from the Criminal Investigation Department was dispatched from Colombo to commence an investigation into incident and the security in the area had been intensified.
TNA Parliamentarian Mawai Senathirajah had visited the hospital yesterday afternoon whilst Jaffna University students in numbers were seen gathered outside the hospital and the Jaffna Police Station throughout the day.
Numerous attempts made to get through to senior police officers either in Jaffna or Colombo for comments were futile. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana, Romesh Madusanka and Pradeep Kumara in Jaffna)