The parents of an alleged police torture victim have called upon Sri Lankan authorities to conduct a proper investigation into the death in order to prevent any such incidents in future.29 year old Gayan Rasanga arrested by Dompe police on Thursday was found dead in custody on Friday morning.
His funeral was held on Monday amidst heavy military presence.
Security personnel were seen taking photographs of those attending the funeral, reports journalist Prasad Purnimal Jayamanne.
Angry villagers who pelted stones at the police station and set fire to the police building and vehicles following his death forced the arrest of five policemen, including the Chief Inspector.
‘Attempted to flee’
Sri Lanka defence spokesman told BBC Sandeshaya that the head of the Dompe police station has been transferred.
This infant has been orphaned. This nine-month old child will have no memory of his father
Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle said that the initial statement by police that the victim met his death in an attempt to flee from custody, was ‘based on information received from the ground’.
The police chief later announced that no evidence was found to prove the police claim.
Parents of the victim told BBC Sandeshaya at his funeral on Monday that police should have taken Gayan Suranga, a father of one, to courts for any accusations against him.
“A young mother and an infant were orphaned. This nine-month old child will have no memory of his father,” said the mother, weeping.
They insisted the victim, a three-wheel driver, was not a thief.
His father, GA Leelananda, accused political leaders of appointing and transferring officers in charge to police stations simply for political reasons.
It is one of the reasons for police brutality similar to the killing of his son, the father told BBC Sandeshaya.
Police in Sri Lanka have been accused of making use of anti-terrorist legislation to torture detainees in custody. The police also face serious allegations of extra-judicial killings.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) described the death of Gayan Rasanga as ‘yet another in the very long list of extrajudicial killings by the Sri Lanka police’.
In a statement, the AHRC says that it has also written a separate letter to the Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions and to the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishments.
Former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr Mahinda Balasuriya, resigned after a young worker at Free Trade Zone in Katunayake died in hospital after a police shooting in June.
Two former officers at Angulana police station were sentenced to death for the murder of two young boys in custody in August 2009.