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Police to stop opening fuel tanks at public request

The Police Headquarters has instructed all police officers to refrain from interfering in the opening of fuel tanks at filling stations, at the request of the public, to verify that the filling station has run out of fuel. 

Police Media Spokesman, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Attorney-at-Law (AAL) Nihal Thalduwa said that it had been observed that people gathered at certain filling stations are requesting police officers attached to the security of filling stations to open the fuel storage tanks for display as soon as there is no longer any fuel to be distributed. 

He also said that information has been received that police officers would intervene in such cases and open the relevant tanks and show them to the public. However, he said that in such a case, if a person deliberately commits an act of sabotage or mistakenly commits an action that leads to a destructive incident, the Police would be held responsible. 

“The work related to the opening of fuel tanks is not the responsibility of the Police. Such work should be done with proper security arrangements by those who are assigned to do it. Therefore, the Police Headquarters has informed all police officers to refrain from opening tanks at filling stations or interfering in related activities,” he added.

Due to the shortage of foreign exchange reserves in the country, the import of fuel has been severely affected and a severe fuel shortage has arisen. In this situation, people have had to wait in long queues at filling stations for days to get fuel, and tense situations were reported at several filling stations. Also, there have been many instances in recent days where people have asked to open the fuel storage tanks at filling stations, suspecting that fuel is hidden in the tanks instead of being distributed as required.