Police permitted to fire, if need arises – SSP Senaratne

Jaliya Senaratne - Sri Lanka Police

Police are permitted to use their weapons during the Election period if a need arises, Police Media Spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne said.

He noted that at least two police officers stationed at each polling station are armed with weapons.The Police personnel have been deployed at the polling stations from yesterday morning.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday to brief the security arrangements for the Election, he said using the weapons should be done in conformity with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Penal Code.

“Police officers can use their weapons for personal safety in instances such as a robbery.Police personnel are also allowed to use ‘necessary and just powers’ when arresting a person, and the parameters of such powers have not been defined,” he added.

He said the Police use their powers to disperse any unlawful assembly and to what extent they use such powers depends on the situation.

Police Legal Division Director SSP Ruwan Gunasekara said mobile patrols were deployed in every Police division from yesterday. He said any election law violation would be recorded by the mobile patrols and presented to the court, adding that they have been equipped with cameras.

He added that CCTV footage will also be used for investigations if necessary.

The Police also asked the supporters of candidates to refrain from scattering pamphlets or chits with preferential vote numbers and party symbols on roads or near the polling stations. He said that it was an illegal activity according to the election laws.

(Source: Daily News)