Abduction and killing of Rathgama businessmen : Northern province SDIG summoned | Sunday Observer

Abduction and killing of Rathgama businessmen : Northern province SDIG summoned

Investigators of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) have summoned Senior DIG in charge of the Northern Province Ravi Wijegunawardene to provide a statement in connection with the abduction and killing of two businessmen from Rathgama in January this year. Following the summons, the senior policeman is expected to present himself at the CID early this week.

The two businessmen, Manjula Asela (33) and Rashen Indika (31) were initially reported missing on January 23 from Akmeemana, Rathgama. Investigations into the disappearances later revealed that the duo had been abducted and later killed by a team of policemen from the Southern province Special Investigations Unit which had directly reported to Wijegunawardene who was the Senior DIG in charge of the Southern Province at the time.

Following the revelations, Wijegunawardene was temporarily transferred to Police Headquarters on the recommendation of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the National Police Commission to allow for investigations. Recently the beleaguered top cop took over as Senior DIG Northern Province on May 27 replacing Senior DIG Roshan Fernando.

The CID has recorded several statements in connection with the case including that of relatives of those killed and business associates. The statement from the Senior DIG will be the latest in a line of statements obtained by the investigators.

The family members of the two men had alleged that Manjula and Rashen were abducted by Policemen in uniform who had arrived in a van on January 23. The case cracked wide open when an anonymous letter was received naming the killers and detailing the incidents that led to their deaths. It had claimed the men were abducted by a Special Unit attached to the Southern Province Senior DIG’s Office. It also alleged that one of the abductees was badly assaulted leading to his death and thereafter, the second person was killed to ensure the story did not leak out. The charred bodies of the men were later found in the Medagangoda Forest Reserve by the Police in February. The Police has since arrested several policemen and a wildlife officer in connection with the case.