Reports claimed of a sudden death of a man who was arrested by the Matugama Police a few days ago. The suspect, 42, was arrested on the charge of selling illegal liquor.
The Police had stated that the suspect was admitted to a hospital due to an illness and his death was confirmed upon admittance. A PCR test was also conducted on the suspect, the Police added.
However, witnesses to the arrest of the suspect and his relatives claimed that he was assaulted by the Police in his arrest.
“He was kept in the Police until six o’ clock. Ke kept saying that he was feeling ill and that he had a heart attack. I said that he didn’t have such an illness to be this hard. Then I was told that he had a heart attack, his situation was critical and now he is at the hospital. As the hospital was mentioned, I asked where the hospital was. But it was not said to me.
They beat him. They beat my husband and murdered him,” the suspect’s wife told media in tears.
“When we were at the Police, we were told that they will build a house for us, do the funeral work, so to give this up. We told him that we won’t,” one relative said.
Responding to queries, a hospital spokesman stated that the suspect was already dead when he was admitted to the hospital.
However, the Police said in a statement yesterday (24) that the autopsy had revealed that the 40-year old suspect had died of Covid-pneumonia and that the examination had confirmed that there were no internal or external injuries.
Judging by the Police’s response, the Covid situation in the country must have come to a very critical stage in which 40-year old people with zero symptoms are killed by the contagion long before they are admitted to a hospital in a very short period of time. According to the Police’s sentiment, the government’s proclamations on the Covid-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka are but fairytales.
Or, are we to assume that this is but another ‘custodial action‘ on arrested suspects Sri Lanka Police infamously hold reputation for?