Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said today an investigation would be held on the contradictory statistics about the number of dead and missing in the landslide at Meeriyabedda Estate.
“If someone is missing or dead, it is the Police Department that has the authority to investigate. We need these statistics because a death certificate has to be issued and compensation has to be paid after a police investigation,” SSP Rohana said.
He said a report was issued based on the information they had received because of the contradictory reports doing the rounds.
“We recorded a statement from the Amptikanda Estate Manager and the Kotabathma Grama Sevaka. Apart from this, we have recorded statements from the survivors at the two camps whether any of their family members were missing and if so how it happened,” SSP Rohana said.
He said according to the latest statistics up to noon yesterday three people were reported dead and 34 missing.
He said a 62-year-old man, a 50 or 60-year-old woman and a six-year-old girl were among the dead while ten males, 19 females, four boys and one girl were reported missing.
SSP Rohana said the police had obtained the information after recording statements from the survivors.
He said a special police team had been appointed on the instructions of the President to check whether the relevant authorities had advised the people in areas prone to landslides to evacuate and if they had overlooked their advice.
“A special police team headed by the Uva and Sabaragamua SSP Lalith Jayasinghe has already been appointed and their report is expected within a week. The team has recorded statements from Kotabathma Grama Sevaka, Haldummulla Divisional Secretary, two villagers and a NBRO senior geologist Mahesh Bandara Somaratne,” he said.(Sanath Desmond & Ajith Siriwardana)