Magistrate rebukes police for serious crime prevention lapse

… likens situation to that in Chicago of yore

“Nobody is safe, and police must get cracking”

Athurugiriya terror:

Tattoo parlour owner who wept for Wasantha confesses to organising assassination

by Rathindra Kuruwita

The police should be ashamed that gunmen were carrying out assassinations in broad daylight and the situation in Sri Lanka was similar to that of Chicago of yore, Acting Kaduwela Magistrate, B.G.P Karunaratna told policemen when he arrived at the scene where gunmen shot Surendra Wasantha Perera, also known as Club Wasantha, on Monday (08), to conduct a magisterial inquiry.

The judge told the policemen present to take immediate action to solve the crime as it was a very serious incident.

“No one is safe, the people don’t feel safe. Criminals came, shot someone and left. This happened less than a kilometre away from the police station,” the judge told the police.

Perera, and his driver were killed on Monday by gunmen in Athurugiriya during the opening ceremony of a tattoo parlour. Several others, including popular singer K. Sujeewa, injured in the attack, are receiving treatment at the Homagama Hospital and at the National Hospital, Colombo. Police confirmed the shooters had arrived in a white car and that they used two T56 assault rifles to carry out the shooting.

The car, used by the assailants, was later found abandoned in Koratota, Kaduwela. They had fled in a van, which was also traced subsequently. The vehicles were bearing false registration numbers.

Dulan Sanjula, the owner of the tattoo parlour, on Tuesday (09), under interrogation, confessed that he had planned the assassination at the behest of a criminal living overseas. He said he had received one million rupees from a person called, Ahungalle Loku Patty, an associate of underworld leader Kanchipani Imran, to ensure that Wasantha would be killed.

Sanjula told the police that he had opened the tattoo parlour as a pretext to lure Wasantha and murder him. Sanjula got in touch with Wasantha through social media and befriended him. Sanjula’s wife, too, was injured in the incident.

Six people have been arrested so far over the incident.

In January 2017, a person was killed in a salon, where Sanjula’s tattoo parlour was later set up.

Police said they believed that underworld leader Kanjipani Imran, living abroad, was behind the assassination. All 27 bullet casings found at the murder site had ‘KPI’ written on them and the police think KPI stands for Kanjipani Imran.

According to the police there had been a grudge between Wasantha and Imran, who is said to believe that Wasantha had provided information that led to the arrest of underworld kingpin his (Imran’s) friend Makandure Madush in 2019. Madush was later killed in what the police described as an underworld attack while in their custody.

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