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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Attack on Uni Students; No Arrests Yet

Sabaragamuwa undergrads cry foul over failure of police to arrest attackers

[University Students around the country protested against the governmenet’s  attack on the Sabragamuwa ‘sathygraha’; Photo: Lanka Views]

Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University yesterday claimed that police had not yet arrested anyone in connection with Friday’s attack on their Satyagraha though they had provided all necessary information regarding the suspects. Police said the suspects were absconding.

President of the Sabaragamuwa University Students’ Collective, Ransindu Jayasinghe told The Island that one of their colleagues who suffered an eye

injury in the attack was still warded at the Balangoda Base Hospital while 12 others had been discharged after treatment.

A group of 25 to 30 persons armed with swords, bicycle chains, clubs and bars attacked the student Satyagraha at the Pambahinna Junction on the Badulla – Colombo main road on Friday. During the attack the temporary structure set up by students to perform Satyagraha was destroyed with two petrol bombs.

Jayasinghe said that the attack had taken place in the night and suspected Pradeshiya Sabha member had had a discussion with Vice Chancellor at his office the previous day.

Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Chandana Udawatte denied allegations leveled by students.

He said that not only the Pradeshiya Sabha member, but Buddhist monks of the area, principals, Grama Niladaris and other prominent people of the village had participated in that discussion. “We have no need to attack our students and the other thing is how we can plan an attack in the presence of Buddhist monks,” Prof. Udawatte said.

Asked whether the university administration would conduct an investigation into the incident, the Vice Chancellor said that they would not launch an inquiry as the incident had taken place outside the university premises.

OIC of the Samanalawewa Police Sub Inspector Nimal Jayaweera said that three suspects including the Pradeshiya Sabha member had been identified in connection with the attack, but they were absconding. He said that two special police teams had been deployed to arrest the culprits.

By Dasun Edirisinghe


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