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Sunday, 14 August 2011

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Criminals masquerading as demons

The word Grease Yaka (ghost) mentioned in both the Print and Electronic Media has created fear in the minds of people in many parts of the country although such a ghost or an apparition does not exist in reality, according to police. True, several criminals masquerading as Grease Yakas have been caught by the police since the uproar in Kahawatte just a few weeks ago. The agitation erupted at Kahawatte following the unsolved murders of seven elderly women in the area.

The public who became agitated due to inaction on the part of police to apprehend the murderers. However to vent their anger people burnt tyres on a highway causing obstructions to the flow of traffic. The deployment of the army along with the Special Task Force (STF) commandos ultimately quelled the mini riot. Meanwhile sleuths from the Criminal Investigation Department and policemen from the Ratnapura division arrested several men linked to the horrendous murders dispelling myths of a Grease Yaka or an apparition roaming in the area. Police said that it was all man-made creations of criminals and some mentally deranged persons and sex perverts to infuse fear into the minds of the village folk in order to commit crime. This brings to our memory the story of the Hound of the Baskerville written by Sir Arthur Conon Doyle.

The word of a Grease Yaka surfaced again after a lapse of few weeks following the sighting of several demonic looking persons in many parts of the country. However with the arrest of several persons police found them to be criminals masquerading as demons to commit crime.

At a hastily arranged press conference at the Police Headquarters a few days ago the Inspector General of Police (IGP) N.K. Illangakone explained to the media the myths surrounding the Grease Yaka as reported in some newspapers. He then assigned the task to Senior DIG Sabaragamuwa Range, Pujith Jayasundera explained to the media about the myths surrounding the Grease Yaka.

He said the crimes were committed by disgruntled and mentally deranged persons and sex perverts. He said following the Kahawatte incident, the latest reports of a Grease Yaka were published in newspapers.

A Grease Yaka was reported to be seen by people in Katugastota. However police arrested a man masquerading as Grease Yaka on suspicion and was placed in remand custody pending further inquiries.

The second incident was reported from Mahiyanagana area where two women were attacked by a Grease Yaka. Police arrested four persons following the incident. However one person linked to the incident was identified while another man had 330 grams of Ganja (Cannabis sativa) in his possession. The two suspects have been remanded. The third incident was reported from Giranduru Kotte area where four persons were arrested. Inquiries revealed that their intention was simply to frighten ordinary village folk to derive satisfaction.

The suspects have been remanded. The fourth incident was reported from Hasalaka where police arrested seven men from Ambagahapelesse Mangalahinne.

They admitted to police that their intention was to poke fun at residents by frightening them. The suspects have been remanded. Senior DIG said the fifth incident was reported in the newspaper in the Maha-Oya in the Ampara area.

However police found that no one had complained of such an incident and was just a rumour that spread in the area. The sixth incident was reported from the Kandeketiya area where a man had frightened women and thereafter escaped into the jungle.

The seventh incident was reported from Bibile area where a man had frightened a woman after consuming liquor. The suspect was later arrested from the adjoining village and was remanded.

The eighth incident was reported from Alawatugoda where a mentally deranged person had worn lingerie over his clothes and had frightened women.

The ninth was reported from Siyambalanduwa in the Moneragala area where a cultivator had frightened people by knocking on their doors. He had 30 grams of Ganja in his possession.

The suspect was remanded by the police. The tenth incident was reported from Damana Ampara where a mentally deranged person had frightened women.

The eleventh incident was reported from Sendulwatte in the Nuwara Eliya area when people travelling in a van was attacked by villagers believing them to be demons.

The twelfth incident was reported from Polonnaruwa area where police found that there was no Grease Yaka but was only a rumour.

The thirteenth incident was reported from the Maho area where a beggar dressed in black clothes had frightened residents. The fourteenth incident was reported from Nawalapitiya where a man loitering near a tea factory was arrested.

But a rumour spread in the area that he was a Grease Yaka. The fifteenth incident was reported from Nuwara Eliya where persons had frightened people in the Ragala area to do illicit gemming in a river closeby. The sixteenth incident was reported from Anuradhapura where an army deserter employed as a bus conductor had frightened residents at the Railway quarters.

Senior DIG Jayasundera refuted newspaper reports of Grease Yakas being sighted at various parts of the country and said it was all made up stories.

Inquiries are being made by police whether interested parties have concocted such stories to dis credit the government.

He made a fervent appeal to the media to refrain from using the word “Grease Yaka “ so as not to cause fear to the public.

The Media spokesman for the Defence Ministry Lakshman Hulugalle said it was a serious matter for people to attack public property such as police vehicles when they go to arrest perpetrators of crime.

The State will be compelled to take stern action against such persons. He appealed to people to give their whole-hearted support to police to apprehend criminals.

 

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