Chances are very high that SSP in charge of the Kegalle Police Division K.B. Keerthiratne will be arrested over the shooting at a protest held in Rambukkana on April 19 killing one, sources said.
Probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) reveals that the heat of the Rambukkana protest could have been tamed down in a matter of another half an hour had SSP Keerthiratne not intervened in the matter, sources added.
Below is the summary of the probe to date:
People have been queuing themselves at the fuel station in Rambukkana since April 17 to purchase fuel but have not received it. A day after, fuel prices soared to be in effect from the midnight of April 18 and rumours had been spreading across the area that a fuel bowser that was set to arrive at the station on April 19 had been dispatched prior to the fuel price surge and hidden.
Following the rumour, the residents had staged a protest demanding that the fuel should be issued at the old price instead of the revised price. The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in charge of the area had arrived at the scene and discussed the matter with the protesters saying that the issue regarding fuel prices should be resolved with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) and that an action can be taken upon the CEYPETCO’s response to the matter.
The ASP had briefed the matter to SSP Keethiratne on the spot and informed him that the situation can be controlled without his presence.
However, Keerthiratne had arrived at the scene in a motorcycle with a helmet on and his actions had stemmed an intensification at the scene, as the SSP had ordered the Police to launch a tear gas attack on the protesters and assault them with batons.
The protesters, furious, had retaliated by pelting stones at the Police. Being hit in a hand, SSP Keerthiratne had gone on a rampage and ordered the Police to open fire, according to sources.
The investigative unit had informed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the President of all this and both of them, who did not approve of the event at all, had stated that legal actions should be taken against the SSP.
Accordingly, these information will be informed to the Court and chances are very high that SSP Keethiratne will be arrested next week, the sources further claimed.