Jaffna Police mistook the students for a motorcycle gang and fired – Law and Order Minister

Oct 22, Colombo: The police initially has not revealed the truth about the fatal shooting of the two Jaffna University students, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake said.

Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, the Minister said the Jaffna police was on alert on the information they had received about roaming motorcycle gangs in the city.

It has been revealed that in that atmosphere when the police observed two youth on a motorcycle riding in the night ignoring traffic signals, they panicked and fired, the Minister said.

The police originally had said that they shot in the air, the Minister added.

The Minister, noting that if the police reveled the truth at the time, there would not be such a controversy now, stressed that the police have not launched any organized campaign against the Tamil youth or the people of Jaffna and have only acted to maintain law and order.

Minister Ratnayake said the Deputy Inspector General in charge of the area immediately launched an investigation into the incident.

The court has ordered to remand the five police officers arrested by the Police Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in connection with the incident.

The Jaffna University Student Union meanwhile has declared Monday, the day of the funerals of the two students, as a Day of Mourning.

When questioned about the lack of information as there is no official police media spokesperson at present, Minister Ratnayake said he is not in favor of police officers of holding ‘media shows’.

Minister Sagala Ratnayake further said the police have been instructed to issue several press releases a day and in special situations, discuss with the Ministry Secretary and inform the media.