News

Deceased in custodial death exhumed

  • Peradeniya University to conduct second autopsy 

By Pamodi Waravita  

 

The body of Chandran Vidushan, who died while in the custody of the Eravur Police on 4 June, has been exhumed and sent to the Peradeniya University on 21 June for a second post-mortem report. 

The legal representation for Vidushan’s family, Kanagaratnam Suhas told The Morning that the body was exhumed on the orders of the Batticaloa Magistrate’s Court, as the deceased’s family alleges that Vidushan was assaulted by Police officers, injuries sustained by which had ultimately led to his death. According to Suhas, the family claims that Vidushan was beaten up by the arresting Police officers in front of them on 3 June. 

“Although the first post-mortem examination conducted by the Batticaloa District Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) states the cause of death as a crystal methamphetamine (ICE) overdose, it has also noted several injuries on his body. It is clear that something has happened at the Police Station, which is why we have challenged it,” said Suhas. 

Based on the findings of the second post-mortem, Suhas added that investigations into the conduct of the Police officers at the Eravur Police Station may begin. 

It is also learnt that the body was received by the Peradeniya University’s Forensic Medicine Department’s Professor in Forensic Medicine Sarathchandra Kodikara and that investigations began yesterday (22). 

Questions have also arisen as to whether Vidushan consumed the drugs while in Police custody. 

This year also saw the deaths of underworld figures, Mabulage Dineth Melan Mabula alias Urujuwa and Dharmakeerthi Tharaka Perera Wijesekera alias Kosgoda Tharaka within mere days of each other while in Police custody. On both occasions, the Police Media Spokesman, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Ajith Rohana stated that the deaths had occurred as a result of incidents which had forced Police officers to use their weapons. 

Civilians Sunil Indrajith and Mohammed Ali also died while in the presence of Police officers, after going out in search of food during the recent State-imposed travel restrictions. 

The Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners (CPPR) has written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) about the cases of Indrajith, Vidushan and Ali, who died while in Police custody or in the presence of Police officers.