A Special Task Force (STF) camp will be set up in each of the country’s administrative districts on the orders of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to combat and tackle illegal activities which the police find difficult to handle, the STF Commandant said yesterday.
“The setting up of camps is the first step by the STF to engage in the development activities of each district. Contd. from A1
“The setting up of camps is the first step by the STF to engage in the development activities of each district. We have about five camps in the Batticaloa district. We have busted illegal felling of trees, sand mining and the transport of cattle in the area especially inside thick forests,” STF Commandant R.W.M.C. Ranawana said.
“We are assisting the police to put a stop to illegal activities which take place in the country. We have a cadre of 8,000 personnel and a vast intelligence network,” DIG Ranawana added.
The STF has been empowered to arrest suspects, carry out raids on illegal activities and assist the police in maintaining law and order.
“We are continuing to combat criminal gangs and we even managed to arrest Neluwe Priyantha, the undisputed underworld leader of the Southern Province. He was said to be involved in more than 80 killings though only five or six of them has been reported to the police,” he added.
“We went to Kahawatta, assisted the police and arrested all the suspects who were killing women and frightening the residents. The people have always have had a high regard for the STF and its work in maintaining law and order,” DIG Ranawana said.
He said people can inform the STF about any illegal activity or if they need its help on telephone numbers: 0112588499, 2588481, 2580518 and STF Intelligence 2586363.