News

Cops permitted to pump fuel into cans, bypass queues

  • Police Spokesman says fuel in cans to power police generators
  • Pledges probe into cops procuring fuel for friends, family 

BY SAFRAH FAZAL

Following numerous clashes between police officers and fuel consumers, the Police clarified to The Morning yesterday (23) that police officers are permitted to fill fuel into cans at filling stations islandwide, as fuel is needed to power generators at police stations amidst the ongoing daily power cuts, while police officers are not encouraged to stay in queues owing to the nature of their work.

Speaking to The Morning yesterday, Police Media Spokesman, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Attorney-at-law (AAL) Nihal Thalduwa said that police officers can be authorised to pump fuel into cans due to the present energy crisis.

“For agricultural and other similar purposes, fuel is pumped into cans. Similarly, the Police too can submit a letter and obtain fuel into cans. As there are power cuts these days, we need fuel to power the generators at Police Stations. The Police can submit a letter and obtain fuel for authorized purposes such as these.”

He added that investigations will not be carried out against incidents where police officers have obtained fuel despite not being in queues, emphasising that they are on duty throughout the week, which makes it impractical for the officers to remain in queues for five to six hours and then report to work. 

“We don’t encourage police officers to stay in queues. We need officers to respond to 119 calls, other emergencies, and investigations. So, we cannot afford to have our officers in queues,” he added.

He requested those who severely criticise and protest against this to pause and consider if it is fair, as officers are also required to be on duty at night to respond to emergencies and cannot, therefore, remain in queues during the day and report to work in the night.

However, Talduwa said that, if there is clear evidence that proves that police officers have used their influence to secure fuel for friends or family, action will be taken against them.

Videos are being shared on social media showing police officers obtaining fuel for their vehicles and cans, which has outraged many as the public have remained in queues for days on end only to receive a limited amount of fuel. Tense scenes were reported even yesterday (23) at the Gampaha co-operative fuel filling station, when Police officers attempted to fill fuel into cans by bypassing the long queue. Members of the queued up public demanded to see the relevant government authorisation issued to the police officers in question allowing them to fill fuel into cans.