TNA asks how fleeing undergrads were shot from the front

by Saman Indrajith

The TNA yesterday demanded that an investigation be conducted into the killing of two Jaffna university students to find out how the rider of the motorcycle, and not the one on the pillion, had suffered gun shot injuries if they had been fleeing.

Making a special statement, TNA leader R Sampanthan said: “On Oct 20, 2016 two Third-year students of the University of Jaffna were shot at by the Police at Kulappidi Junction, Kokkuvil. They were both riding a motorcycle at that time.

“Initially the Police reported these two young men had died as a result of a road accident.¬† But the next morning it became clear that they had been shot by the police on the road. The rider of the motor cycle had died with gun shot injuries while the pillion rider died due to head injuries sustained as a result of the crash. The Police have since then changed their position and stated these two students did not stop at the police check point that therefore they opened fire.

“While unreservedly condemning this unwarranted and unlawful attack by the police which has resulted in the deaths of two university students we demand that an impartial inquiry be conducted into these deaths immediately and the truth found out and culprits punished. This inquiry must ascertain as to how gun shots were sustained by the rider of the motor cycle and not the pillion rider if in fact they were fleeing from the Police.

“I was with the President on Oct 21 when this news came and the President immediately ordered a special unit from Colombo to go and take over investigations. The suspects have been arrested and now remanded. Whilst thanking the government for these initial first steps, I wish to ask the Prime Minister as to what further steps have been taken to ensure that the culprits are actually brought to book including through independent judicial processes since serious doubts have been raised in the recent past as to the judicial processes through which high profile crimes seem to have been ended with no conviction at all.

“I also ask the Prime Minister what steps have been taken by the government to immediately ensure that such unlawful acts by law enforcement authorities are not repeated.

“It is imperative that the whole country know the full truth with regard to this incident.”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe assured that all the investigations into the deaths of two students would be conducted in a transparent manner and legal action would be taken against those responsible for the offence. He said the incident had come as a shock to the government and investigation were being conducted.