Court orders arrest of five cops over custodial death of youth

Saturday, 25 November 2023 00:17 –      – 21

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The Jaffna Magistrates Court yesterday ordered five policemen attached to the Vaddukoddai Police to be arrested over their involvement in the custodial death of a youth.

26-year-old Nagarasa Alex and another were arrested in the Nagakerny area on 11 November over allegations of committing a robbery and stealing Rs. 90,000 in cash and 16 ½ pounds of gold jewellery from a house. Alex later died on 19 November while receiving treatment at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

Following his death, the post-mortem conducted by the Judicial Medical Officer at Jaffna Teaching Hospital revealed that the youth died due to kidney failure resulting from injuries sustained during an assault. The witness statement of the other suspect arrested along with Alex supported this finding.

After being released on bail on 22 November, he claimed that the duo were apprehended on 8 November but were only presented before the courts on 11 November. Furthermore, he also alleged that during the four-day period, they were subjected to being hung upside down and assaulted by the investigating officers. Both provided testimony during yesterday’s hearing.

The Magistrate ruled the youth’s death a homicide and ordered the arrest of five policemen involved in the incident. The next hearing has been scheduled for 27 November.