Three police officers have been interdicted over the alleged assault on an autistic teen at the police checkpoint at Ambagaha Junction in Aluthgama.
Following the probes launched into the incident, three officers – a Sub-Inspector, a Police Sergeant and a Police Constable – were interdicted over neglect of duty, the Police said.
According to Police Media Spokesperson SP Jaliya Senaratne, the interdicted Sub-Inspector and the Sergeant were attached to the Police Training School in Kalutara while the Constable in question was attached to Aluthgama Police.
On Thursday (04), former MP Ali Zahir Moulana had shared the CCTV footage of the incident which had taken place on the 25th of May. Taking to his official Twitter account, Moulana said the teen – Thariq Ahamed – was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since he was 4 years of age.
It is reported that the teen had wandered off to the town on his motorcycle when he was stopped by the police officers at the checkpoint.
Moulana alleged that the police officers at the scene had brutally assaulted the teen.
CCTV footage of the incident was since widely circulated in social media, causing outrage and calling for justice for Ahamed.
In a statement issued earlier today (05), the police said the officers involved in the incident had used “necessary force” to subdue the teen but denied the occurrence of any assault.
The officers had initially suspected that the teen was under the influence of drugs and had not recognized he was mentally challenged, the statement read further.
The police said an independent inquiry into the incident was launched by the Women and Children’s Bureau of the Police, under the directives of Acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Wickremaratne.
However, a subsequent statement revealed that three police officers have been interdicted in connection with the said incident.
The news of the brutal assault by police on Thariq Ahamed, a 14 year old autistic boy of Dharga Town, Aluthgama is shocking and the prejudice that ensued after by the Police and the JMO needs to be exposed. Thariq was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder since he was 4..(1) pic.twitter.com/8dd6DVTW8Q
— Ali Zahir Moulana (@alizmoulana) June 4, 2020
(Source: Ada Derana)