A correspondent for the Lankadeepa newspaper has lodged a complaint at the Moratuwa Police that she was allegedly obstructed from carrying out her duties by police and court officials when she went to report on the escape of a prisoner from the holding cell of the Moratuwa Magistrate’s Court.
Reka Tharangani Fonseka in her complaint said that she had gone to the premises of the Moratuwa Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after getting to know that a prisoner had escaped through the roof of the court’s holding cell. When she had arrived at the court premises, police officers who were on duty had implored her not to report the incident. The journalist had explained that it was her duty to report and asked them not to obstruct her in carrying out her duties.
At this point, one of the policemen had allegedly abused her in foul language and had grabbed her mobile phone. He had then attempted to seize her camera but was prevented by some lawyers who were present.
Police officers had then insisted that she delete all photographs she had taken at the court premises and threatened her that she would be taken before the magistrate and punished if she did not do so. Moratuwa Police Officer In Charge Jayashantha Silva said that an inquiry was underway into the complaint lodged by the journalist. He added that the Registrar of the Courts too had lodged a complaint that pictures had been taken within the premises.
Meanwhile the suspect who escaped from custody still remains missing. He had been produced in court over a narcotics case. The Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union (FMETU) has strongly condemned the incident.