Cops interdicted over SLPP rally rape case | Sunday Observer

Cops interdicted over SLPP rally rape case

A Sub Inspector of Police and two Police constables of the Hemmathagama Police have been interdicted following revelations that the trio had failed to adhere to official investigation procedures in connection with a case where a 26 year old woman with Down syndrome had been allegedly raped by an SLPP supporter following a party rally.

The spokesman said it has not been revealed why the officers had failed to carry out their duties. SSP Gunasekara said the actions of the cops may have compromised evidence relating to the crime. Police sources said they are trying to ascertain if the officers had been politically pressurized.

According to Police spokesman SSP Ruwan Gunasekara, the officers had failed to obtain a statement from the victim on the day of the incident and they had not produced her for a medical examination either. “She was found by the roadside around 1.5 km from her home wearing her dress inside out which was evidence enough to conduct an investigation and gather the necessary evidence immediately,” he said.

The incident had taken place on Thursday (7) when the woman along with her mother who also suffers from down syndrome had attended a rally supporting SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. As she had not returned home that night, her father had informed the Police 119 hotline and also lodged a complaint with the Hemmathagama Police. Later that night the woman was found on the roadside around 1.5 Kms away from her home by the Police after she had managed to escape from her abuser.

Senior DIG of Sabaragamuwa Roshan Fernando visited Hemmathagama following the incident and on inquiry had discovered that the three policemen had failed to gather evidence.

Meanwhile, spokesman for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, MP Keheliya Rambukwella said law enforcement should take stern action on the perpetrators and ensure justice. “We are not going to cover up anything” he said. Rambukwella said the SLPP has requested the Police to take stringent action despite the suspect’s connections and social standing. “When you have large gatherings you have all kinds of people coming in and you cannot filter people” he noted. “Anybody who has been involved therefore must be dealt with” he said.

However, speaking at a public meeting in Kandy today, Minister of Women and Child Affairs and Dry Zone Development, Chandrani Bandara said there are reports of top SLPP leaders attempting to pressurize the Police to sweep the rape case under the carpet. “People may remember that a PS chairman in the South celebrated the rape of 100 women by throwing parties to which SLPP leaders were invited” she said. The Minister said it is heinous that a Down symrome woman was raped in this manner.

Investigations carried out by the special teams now assigned to the case have found that the woman had been raped at three isolated places on the day by a 23 year old SLPP supporter. “They have found several blood samples as well,” he said, adding that DNA tests will be conducted. The woman has now been admitted to the Kegalle Hospital for medical examinations. Police have obtained statements from 20 individuals.

The suspect was presented before the Mawanella Magistrate’s Court and remanded till November 13, the spokesman said. Police have also commenced an inquiry against the interdicted cops.