The complaint had been lodged by a 52-year-old father of two named H.H. Ariyasinghe a footwear manufacturer residing at No. 577/1, Nugethibukanda, Nawadagala.
The police officers on duty at the Uragasmanhandiya, Hipankanda area on the Elpitiya-Aluthgama main road had stopped the said three wheeler bearing registration number SP – 6707 on October 18 at around 09.00 pm and asked its driver for his registration and driving license.
Accordingly, Ariyasinghe had produced the relevant documents.
The police had then told him that his driving license had expired, but he had pointed out to them that it was not.
Then the policeman had come close to him and said even though the license has not expired, you are drunk, and attempted to ask him for a bribe. However, Ariyasinghe had refused to bribe him and as a result he had been taken and locked up, according to the complaint.
However, with the assistance of another policeman, Ariyasinghe had notified a relative of his who had come and bailed him out around 12.30 am. But, as he was in the cell, he had felt a chest pain and experienced a severe headache and as such he had got admitted to the Elpitiya hospital.
The complaint also noted that having obtained residential treatment for his ailment that night he had been discharged the next morning (19) around 06.00 am. However, the hospital records had specified that the patient was not under the influence of alcohol.
Meanwhile, although the MTA form as per the Traffic Act paragraph 135(4), had reported to Court on October 25, 2017, the Uragasmanhandiya Police had not filed any charges against him, he had stated in his complaint.
When the lawyer had then asked the Uragasmanhandiya Police who were present in Court that day on other business, they had notified Court that the charges would be filed on November 01 and that charges had not been filed on that date.
Ariyasinghe had further stated in his complaint that as there were no charges filed against him, he had gone to the Uragasmanhandiya Police Station and asked for his license on November 05, instead of returning his license, the police had extended the validity of his temporary license by 14 days. He had stated that his license had thus been extended on five subsequent occasions instead of returning it to him.
Hence, Ariyasinghe had requested the Human Rights Commission to conduct an investigation against the errant police officers and all those who had been attempting to cover up this misdeed.
License cannot be returned due to investigations – Uragasmanhandiya OIC
When we inquired from the Uragasmanhandiya Police OIC regarding this incident, he said as the Police Department is conducting an investigation with regard to this complaint, the license cannot be returned and said an investigation is currently underway.
He also said that the policeman connected to this incident had been temporarily transferred to the Baddegama Police Station.
The OIC further stated that once the investigations are completed, those in the wrong will be taken to Court.
Still no reports that we asked for- Tilaka Kalyani (Director, Southern Province National Police Commission)
When inquired from the Southern Province Police Commission Director P.M. Tilaka Kalyani regarding this matter she said that although they had requested a report from the Galle DIG, they had not received the report as yet and added that once the report is received, if they are not satisfied with it, the relevant parties would be called and the complaint would be investigated.