A total of Nine thousand two hundred ninety five public complaints have been lodged against Sri Lanka Police with the National Police Commission (NPC) during the last five years, documents show.
These complaints include cases of unlawful arrest, false charges, assault, torture, partiality, abuse of power, as well as Police inaction.
However, according to information obtained through an RTI by the writer, the rate of complaints at NPC being stuck with no progress has been increasing over the years. From the years starting with 2017 to the second quarter of 2022, the total numbers of unsolved complaints were 5, 21, 96, 276, 1344, and 713, respectively. When asked about the delay, the NPC blamed the Covid-19 pandemic.
The NPC received a total of Rs.127, 764,000 budgetary allocation in 2018 which was more than double what it had received in the year 2015 -- Rs.47, 030,000. Even the resolved cases are not technically resolved. A source at the NPC revealed that a considerable number of resolved cases are those in which the aggrieved parties stopped contributing to the inquiry “for reasons best known to them.” When the complainant no longer participates in the inquiry, the NPC stops pursuing such cases due to a “lack of evidence”.
The National Police Commission was established under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in October 2015 with a mission to safeguard the public from unlawful action and/or inaction by the Police.
Annually more and more public money is being spent to maintain the operations of the NPC only to see the performance of the Commission becoming more questionable over the years. (Piyumi Fonseka)
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