Media personnel of the Kalutara District staged a protest opposite the Aluthgama police station yesterday against the failure on the part of the police to arrest the suspects who had attacked a provincial journalist and his wife on Friday for exposing an artificial toddy racket in the area.
The protest was organised by Independent Media Foundation comprising provincial correspondents of all media organisations covering the district. Chief Organizer of the Foundation Suresh Wijaya Rangana said that provincial journalist Thusitha Kumara Silva and his wife had been attacked by a group of 10 to 15 persons near their house at Welipitiya Road in Beruwala on Friday evening. “The attackers also damaged the house. They smashed windows, a fish tank and flower pots. They also robbed Rs 4,800 and a mobile phone. Thusitha and his wife were admitted to the Aluthgama base hospital and later transferred to the Nagoda hospital. They were attacked with clubs. The assailants threatened to kill Thusitha if he continued to report the issues connected to the artificial toddy racket.
Five of the assailants have been identified. They were in remand following a raid conducted by the STF several weeks back. After the attack the victims lodged a complaint and identified five assailants but the police did not make arrests. We protest the delay in investigations. W
JVP Kalutara District MP Nalinda Jayatissa also joined the protest. He said that he had raised the issues of harmful artificial toddy business, in Parliament, several times but authorities had not done nothing.
Contacted for comment, OIC of Aluthgama police Inspector Upul Priyalal said that he had sent couple of teams in search of the suspects but they had fled the area. “Their houses are closed. But we will arrest them before long,” he said.
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)