Brigadier, three soldiers indicted on 96 counts | Daily News

Rathupaswela firing on civilians in 2013:

Brigadier, three soldiers indicted on 96 counts

File photo: Soldiers under the Brigadier in Rathupaswela.
File photo: Soldiers under the Brigadier in Rathupaswela.

Attorney General Dappula De Livera yesterday filed indictments before the Gampaha High Court against a Brigadier and three soldiers over the killings of three civilians and injuring of 45 others who were residents of Rathupaswala during a protest in 2013 demanding safe drinking water.

The local residents had been carrying out a protest campaign at the time against the alleged pollution of ground water due to industrial effluents.

The indictments against Brigadier Anura Deshapriya Gunewardena and three Army soldiers were filed under 96 counts after the appointment of a Trial-at-Bar by the Chief Justice on the request of Attorney General Dappula De Livera PC.

The Attorney General’s Co-ordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told Daily News that considering the Attorney General’s request, last month Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya PC appointed a Trial-at-Bar consisting High Court Judges Menaka Wijesundara (President), Nimal Ranaweera and Nishantha Hapuarachchi to hear the case. Violence erupted during a protest by residents of Rathupaswala on August 1, 2013 as security forces and protesters clashed in Weliweriya, resulting in the death of three persons and injuring over 30.

They protested against a factory which was alleged to have been polluting water in the area. They demanded the authorities to take prompt action to relocate the factory. During the clashes, Kahandawita Arachchilage Don Akila Dinesh, Shamli Ramsan Perera, Paranagama Rahul Duragedara Nilantha Pushpakumara were shot to death. The accused in the case are Brigadier Anura Deshapriya Gunawardena, Dingiri Arunage Sirisena, Jayasundara Mudiyanselage Thilakaratne,and Lalith Grey. Attorney General Dappula de Livera had previously stated that charges would be filed under 96 counts against four persons including breaching Section 450 (4) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

 


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