CEYPETCO shooting: Po­lice seek AG's ad­vice to make fur­ther ar­rests

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

The Colombo Crimes Divi­sion has sought the At­tor­ney Gen­era l 's Depart­ment's ad­vice to make fur­ther ar­rests in the shooting in­ci­dent at the CEYPETCO head of­fice where one per­son was killed.

A se­nior Po­lice official told the Sun­day Times they had ob­tained fur­ther CCTV footage of the shooting in­ci­dent that oc­curred when the for­mer Petroleum Min­is­ter Ar­juna Ranatunga vis­ited the premises on Oc­to­ber 28.

Mr. Ranatunga, ad­dress­ing a news con­fer­ence on Thurs­day, said, the in­ci­dent oc­curred two weeks ago when he had en­tered the min­istry premises to col­lect the keys of his official residence.

He re­it­er­ated that his se­cu­rity guard did not shoot de­lib­er­ately but shot to de­fend him as the peo­ple who en­tered the premises forcibly tried to grab the weapon of the Min­is­te­rial Se­cu­rity Divi­sion ( MSD) of­fi­cer.

“I would have been killed if that man got hold of the weapon," he said.

The min­is­ter also pre­sented CCTV footage of the in­ci­dent. Ac­cord­ing to that, the min­is­ter was seen sit­ting on a sofa on the first floor for about 30 min­utes wait­ing for an ad­di­tional sec­re­tary to get the keys from his min­istry of­fice.

The min­is­ter and his MSD of­fi­cers then hear a com­mo­tion and walk to­wards the main en­trance. At that mo­ment, the footage shows mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil mem­ber Ku­lathissa Gee­gan­age en­ter­ing the premises and walk­ing to­wards the min­ster while shout­ing ob­scene words. He is then stopped by the se­cu­rity staff.

The footage then shows the min­is­ter seated once again and the MSD of­fi­cers rush­ing to­wards him and es­cort­ing him into a room.

Af­ter­wards, a mob armed with bats, bi­cy­cle chains, knuckle dusters, and steel rods is seen en­ter­ing the room and start­ing to as­sault the se­cu­rity staff. Dur­ing the com­mo­tion, the shooting takes place when a mem­ber of the mob tries to pull a weapon from the MSD of­fi­cer who is re­peat­edly as­saulted by the mob.

Two rounds are fired and the mob flees with­out seek­ing cover.

The min­is­ter claimed once again that he was un­able to give or­ders to his se­cu­rity staff as he was in a sep­a­rate room.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter, the mob was headed by Mr. Gee­gan­age and an in­ter­dicted union mem­ber iden­ti­fied as Ban­dula Sa­manku­mara.

The min­is­ter said that al­though he had been given bail, the MSD of­fi­cer who saved his life was still on re­mand.

He said that he would con­sult lawyers and take nec­es­sary ac­tion to se­cure the re­lease of the MSD of­fi­cer.

At Thurs­day's news con­fer­ence, Mr. Ranatunga ex­plains the time­line of the shooting in­ci­dent. Pic by Ishanka Su­ni­mal

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