Magistrate takes tough stand on police

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 February 2010, 11:42 GMT]
Colombo Chief Magistrate, Ms Champa Janaki Rajaratne, Thursday reprimanded the Police for the failure to arrest armed men who are believed to be supporters of the ruling party when they attacked civilian protestors during their peaceful march condemning the arrest and detention of General Fonseka held on Wednesday in Colombo, legal sources said.

“You should be ashamed of dancing to the tune of politicians," Chief Magistrate told the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of the Central Crimes Division Mr.Jayaretne when he said that he witnessed the incident and pro-Fonseka supporters did not obtain permission to hold protest.

The Chief Magistrate asked the ASP whether the pro-government group engaged in attack obtained police permission. The ASP was silent to the question posed by the court, legal sources said.

Chief Magistrate further said that people were free to hold dissenting political views but the judiciary and the police had to carryout their duties impartially and advised the police not to mislead the court by twisting facts and to arrest the real culprits who could be clearly identified in the photographs published in newspapers.

The Magistrate further ordered the release of eight pro-Fonseka supporters on personal bail of Rs.500 each and warned the police not to suppress the facts to safeguard the real culprits.

The Chief Magistrate further advised the police, “The Police Department and the Judiciary are maintained by public funds and their duty is to serve the public and not to act according to their whims and fancies,” the Magistrate said. . Counsel Gunaratne Wanninayake appearing for the eight suspects submitted to Court that the police were protecting the armed thugs who with UPFA Municipal Councilor Ajantha Liyanage had attacked the innocent demonstrators. He added that while the thugs and the police were assaulting the innocent people the lawyers who were present in Hultsdorf Court at the time had intervened in the name of democracy.


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