Sinhala Police officers accused of killing Tamil Jaffna Uni students bid to move case out of North, East! Why?

  • CA grants another date to file counter objections

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeals on Monday granted another date for five police officers who had been arrested in connection with the shooting of two Jaffna University students to file a counter objection on 3 August in regard to their appeal.

The accused police officers are seeking the court to transfer their case out of Northern and Eastern provinces.

They are also seeking the court to issue an interim order restraining the continuation of their case in the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court until the final determination of their application.

The matter came up before Court of Appeals President Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya.  Counsel for the appellant police officers requested another date to file counter objections.

The police officers involved in the shooting are D. Sarath Bandara Dissanayake, E.M. Jayawardene, P. Navaratna Bandara, S.A. Chandana Kumara Pathirana and Thangarasa Lankamaman in their petition cited the Jaffna Police Station OIC, the OIC of the Criminal Investigation Department and the Attorney General as respondents.

Tirantha Walalaliyadde PC instructed by Shashika Mithuna Arachchi appeared for the petitioners. DSC Shanaka Wijesinghe appeared for the Attorney General. M.A. Sumanthiran appeared for the slain students.

The officers are accused of killing two students of the Jaffna University Vijayakumar Sulakshan (24) of Kandarodai in Chunnakam, Jaffna and Nadarajah Gajan (23) from Iranaimadu in Kilinochchi. They are now detained at Anuradhapura Remand Prison.

The officers plead that their life would be in danger if they continue to travel to the Jaffna Courts.

Both were third-year students at the Jaffna University’s Faculty of Arts and were studying political science and journalism.

On the night of 20 October 2016, it is reported that they were gunned down by the police at a police checkpoint at Kulappiddy Junction in Kokuvil, Jaffna. The students sustained fatal injuries after they were shot at by the police for allegedly disobeying their orders to stop their motorcycle at a roadblock.

Although police initially denied shooting the students, a post-mortem found bullets in one of the student’s bodies.

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