Akmeemana shooting: Army launches two investigations | Sunday Observer

Akmeemana shooting: Army launches two investigations

The Army has commenced two separate investigations into the incident where a man was shot and killed by a soldier when he attempted to enter a state-run school in Akmeemana, Galle, on Thursday, Army sources said.

The soldier was handed over to the Army’s 581 Brigade Command Headquarters, Boossa, as ordered by Galle Additional Magistrate Pavithra Sanjeewani Pathirana on Friday.

The police are also investigating it, the first fatal incident after security was beefed up in schools following the Easter Sunday attacks that claimed the lives of over 250 people and injured about 500 others.

Army Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Atapattu told the Sunday Observer that a fact finding inquiry was launched by the Army. A separate inquiry was launched by a three-member committee of the suspected soldier’s regiment. Brigadier Atapattu said Udaya Pradeep Kumara, a 40-year-old father of three from Godakanda and attached to a Navy band, attempted to forcibly enter the school where his children were studying. He had allegedly reached for the soldier’s weapon leading to the shooting.

The victim succumbed to his injuries at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital.

“Initial investigation shows that the victim had an argument with the soldier who was providing security to the school and has allegedly attempted to grab his weapon. This had led to the shooting,” Brigadier Atapattu said.

He said that Army officials are advised to use minimum force to control people. “But in this case, as the man had tried to grab the weapon, it had led to this incident.”

“There are contradictory stories regarding the case and the Army is continuing its investigating.

The Sunday Observer learns Kumara, the victim on Thursday, had gone to the school around 10.00am to take home his seven-year-old daughter who was not well. He had again returned to take home his youngest son, a grade one student during the afternoon.