Police have so far released a total of 23 suspects, who were arrested in connection with the Aluthgama and Beruwala riots, without producing them in Courts, Police Media Spokesman, SSP Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Police had arrested a total of 62 suspects in connection with the riots by yesterday.
The police had produced 39 of the suspects before Court and detained them further, while 23 were released without having to endure the legal process.
SSP Rohana justified the release of suspects stating that the police were empowered to grant police bail to suspects who had not committed major offences. “The suspects were not essentially released, they were granted police bail. There are certain offences where the suspect needs to be produced before a magistrate, and there are certain other offences where the police are empowered to release them by granting them police bail,” he said.
He explained that a majority of the suspects, to whom police bail had been granted,. were merely in violation of curfew laws. The suspects had been arrested after the actual clashes and were not involved in the actual clashes that took place in the above mentioned areas, SSP Rohana said. He added that a total of 20 police teams have been dispatched for investigation on the clashes and the police are continuing to arrest those suspected to be involved in the clashes.
BY FAIZER SHAHEID