Villagers in Noori, Deraniyagala yesterday demanded that immediate action be taken against police officers who were in charge of the Deraniyagala Police division during the reign of terror that lasted for over a decade, stating that until such action was taken they could not trust the police.
Speaking at a meeting held at the Basnagala Tamil Vidayalaya, attended by SP Seethawaka Range Anuruddha Rupasinghe, ASP Sarath Kumara, newly appointed OIC Gayan Prasanna and other police officials, villagers said that they fear a return of terror to the area.
“We fear a return of terror to this village like we experienced for over ten years. The police and area politicians were the main culprits who encouraged this terror and we want action taken against them. There is no point in clipping off a flower without taking out the root from the tree” U. Sameera, a retired Army officer said.
Earlier villagers had alleged that Anil Champika alias Athakota, the former Deraniyagala Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, was allegedly supported by Chief Minister Maheepala Herath and his son, current Member of Parliament, Kanaka Herath.
Herath is alleged to have proclaimed that Champika was “the best Chairman in the area”, and is alleged to have given contracts belonging to the provincial council to Champika’s relatives and friends among other such benefits which included jobs. Anil Champika is currently in remand custody over the killing of Estate Superintendent Nihal Perera. Villagers alleged that Anil Champika and his gang ‘reigned terror’ in the area for over a decade with the police turning a blind eye to their activities.
Champika and his gang are alleged to have been involved in committing atrocities such as rapes, shootings, assaults and murders in the area with his power increasing after he was elected Chairman of the Deraniyagala PS. “The Police were made to kneel down in uniforms and their heads were dashed on the Police jeep, I’ve seen this and many people present here have too,” he said.
The villagers also handed over a complaints book which contained all the complaints made to the police during Champika’s reign, about which no action was taken by previous Police officials.
U. Padmakumara, while explaining how he was remanded for 19 days by the Police for the allegedly lodging a complaint against Champika at the police station, said that the villagers fear a return to violence due to the “political power behind Champika”.
When questioned by SP Anuruddha Rupasinghe said that an investigation is currently underway to take action against Police officers alleged to have supported the crimes but failed to give specifics.
Police listen to villagers who demanded immediate action against Police officers who were in charge of the Deraniyagala Police