Three Army personnel were arrested today by the CID in connection with the shooting incident at Rathupaswala in Weliweriya on August 1, 2013.
The investigations have been resumed under the unity government three years after the incident. Among those arrested are: staff sergeant Sirisena, corporals Lalithge and Tillekaratne. They were asked to report to the CID to record a statement this morning and were subsequently arrested. Police said they were produced in Court and remanded till April 3 by acting Gampah Magistrate Wasantha Gunasekera.
However, Army Spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said no action had been taken so far against the personnel taken into custody.
The residents had staged a protest asking for safe drinking water when the army which had been called to defuse the situation had fired at the protesters killing three people and injuring 30. The water in the area had been allegedly polluted by the effluents being discharged by a factory manufacturing rubber gloves. Among those killed were two students -- Akila Dinesh and Ravishan Perera and a person identified as Nilantha Pushpa Kumara.
Human rights groups condemned the crackdown against the protesting villagers who were only demanding for clean drinking water for the thousands of residents of Weliweriya.
The Sri Lanka Human Rights Council (SLHRC) in 2013 submitted a report on the Rathupaswala tragedy and recommended the army to carry out an investigation. (Thilanka Kanakarathna and Tony Karunanayake)