By Indika Sri Aravinda
A special police unit has begun rounding up beggars from the streets of Colombo and its immediate suburbs, just weeks after it came to light that a serial killer was seemingly on the loose murdering beggars using a brick stone.
Several beggars who were rounded up from Colombo and its its immediate suburbs were taken to the Maradana police today. Meanwhile eyewitnesses in Pitakote said that the police were seen loading beggars from the area into a truck yesterday.
The police have declared begging in public places as illegal and those rounded up are taken to a rehabilitation center in Ridiyagama, Hambantota.
Police sources said that there are certain organised groups behind the deployment of the beggars onto the streets and the police have launched investigations to crack down on this illegal racket.
Sources added that currently a beggar earns an estimated Rs.3000 a day by begging in public areas.
The police last week found the body of a disabled man near the Mount Lavinia police station with severe head injuries. The victim had been bashed to death using a stone.
The police had recovered a pack of sweep tickets in his possession and his cash collection is suspected to have been stolen by his attackers.
The police had last month recovered the bodies of five beggars at various locations in the city also with serious head injuries after being hit using a stone. Investigations are underway to ascertain if the murders are linked. (Daily Mirror online)