A police constable was bashed to death by an unidentified group in the Puttalam town around 8.00 p.m. on Sunday, our correspondent in the area said. The policeman was identified as W.Navaratne Bandara , aged 28 attached to the traffic branch of the Puttalam police station.
He was returning to the Police station after being on traffic duty at the Palaviya junction. He was riding a motorcycle and was in uniform when he was intercepted and attacked, he said.
However the reason for the attack was not known immediately.
He said that constable was rushed to the hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries a shortwhile after being admitted. “His face was badly injured”, he added.
A senior Navy officer’s car and his backup vehicle was also attacked in the area by mobs. The two vehicles had stopped after hearing that a policeman was under attack.
Security has been tightened in the town following the incident while some 2,000 people have gathered in the town area, but the Army and STF were rushed to the scene as tension was building.
Our Correspondent said that Police, Army and the STF was forced to open fire into the air in an attempt to disperse the crowds who have gathered in the town following the incident. After nearly 45 minutes after the incident the forces were able to clear the town.
Security around the Puttalam police station too has been stepped up while the the STF has also been deployed in and around the hospital.
Almost an hour after the incident a group of policemen who were in the hospital were seen been escorted by the STF back to the police station.
Hours earlier unidentified gunmen opened fire in a village five kilometres away from the town injuring five persons who have been admitted to the Puttalam hospital. However there was no immediate indication that the two incidents were linked.
Tension has been building up in the Puttalam district during the past few days. On Friday night a police constable who was on duty at an AL examination centre was set upon by villagers as he had entered the village in Kalpitiya. He claimed that he had gone out looking for a mosquito coil.
Hours earlier before that incident on Friday a woman claimed that an unidentified man had scraped her with a sharp object.
In a separate incident in the Vanathavilluwa area in the same district a Navy truck collided with a motorcycle killing a female pillion rider and injuring the rider who was also a female.