Monk, deputy minister attempt to free Dala Poottuwa killers

An attempt is ongoing to cover up the murder of the ‘Dala Poottuwa’ tusker of Galgamuwa. According to information received from the Wildlife Department and Polpithigama and Ambanpola police stations, a monk at Nagala Rajamaha Vihara with links to top government figures and a deputy minister are behind that attempt. The suspects arrested in connection with the tusker’s killing are close associates of the monk and a driver of the politician. The area’s wildlife assistant director and the OIC of Polpithigama police are aiding them to be freed.

 

This assistant director is a relative of wildlife minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and environmental groups have been accusing him of using his political connections to commit wildlife crimes. Although the media reported the CID has been handed over the investigation, Ambanpola police are investigating the tusker’s killing.

The anti-vice squad at Walana, Panadura arrested two suspects while attempting to sell the tusks, handed them over to Polpithigama police, which had produced them before courts without properly questioning them. Also, Ambanpola police arrested several hunters and presented them to courts and are attempting to force them to give statements to fabricate a case against them.

False evidence is being manufactured, with the support of a top police official of northwestern province to say the suspects linked to the monk and the deputy minister had only cut off the tusks after finding the tusker dead. When the related case was taken up by the Mahawa magistrate’s court on December 12, lawyers for the defendants claimed no charges of killing the tusker have been made, and therefore, the suspects could be given bail. Leaving alone the legal arguments, cases are being fabricated to cover up the crime and an innocent man could be arrested by Polpitigama police with a charge of having killed the tusker.

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