News

11 shooting deaths, only one shooter arrested

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

 

Although investigations are being carried out into the shootings that have culminated in a total of 11 killings over the past few days in various parts of the country, the latest of which was a shooting that resulted in the death of two persons in Moratuwa yesterday (29), only one direct perpetrator of the shootings has been arrested, according to the Police.

Speaking to The Morning, Police Media Spokesman, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Attorney-at-Law Nihal Thalduwa said: “There has been an increase in the number of shootings this month compared to the same period in previous years. A total of 10 such incidents have been reported from 30 May to date. But only one or two such incidents had been reported during this period in recent years.”

When inquired about the status of the investigations into these incidents, he said that the intelligence units operating in the Police Department are paying special attention to this matter and obtaining information regarding the suspects involved in these incidents.

“Police are conducting criminal investigations as usual. In addition, Police intelligence officials are paying special attention to these matters. During such investigations, some suspects have been arrested in connection with these incidents. The suspects who shot have been arrested in connection with only one incident, which is the shooting which took place in Tangalle and the arrest of one suspect over the same.”

The past few months have seen an increase in crime across the country. There have been a total of nine shootings which have ended in deaths in Pettah, Aluthgama, Panadura, Tangalle, Modara, Wattala, Peliyagoda, Middeniya, and Moratuwa during the course of this month. The latest incident was reported yesterday, where two persons had been killed in a shooting which took place in the Moratuwa area.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the crime prevention activities of the Police have been considerably affected at present due to police officers being deployed to control queues at fuel filling stations and gas distribution centres, and over being placed on duty at protest sites. 

Speaking to The Morning on Tuesday (28), a senior police official said: “There are officers in the department who are involved in crime prevention. However, in the recent past, a significant number of police officers have been deployed on duty at filling stations and gas distribution centres, which has had an impact on crime prevention activities.”

He added that in this situation, activities such as night patrols and mobile patrols, which are vitally important in preventing crime, have been largely affected. However, he added that the Police would do their utmost to curb crime as much as possible.