Three police officers, including a Chief Inspector are under interrogation for collecting money from Tamil civilians after arresting them on the pretext of conducting anti-LTTE operations in the city and its suburbs.
Police headquarters spokesperson SSP Ranjith Gunasekera told The Island that the TID (Terrorist Investigations Division) had taken the suspects in for questioning following an investigation conducted on the orders of IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne. He said that the suspects were members of the recently established Western Province Special Operations Unit. The Chief Inspector had been in charge of operations in the Colombo north area, Gunasekera said.
The TID had also taken three underworld operatives into custody.
Police chief ordered the TID to launch an investigation after Kotahena police disputed the Special Operations’ Unit claim that a Tamil civilian taken into custody had been involved with the LTTE. Acting on the orders of the Colombo DIG, Kotahena police had thwarted the attempt to extort one million rupees from the civilian who had been allegedly involved in an illegal money transferring operation. Police said that the timely intervention by Kotahena police and the speedy action taken by the TID had revealed the sordid operations of the suspects. The TID investigation had revealed that the police and their underworld associates had shared the loot.
The sources said that initially Kotahena police was accused of coming to the rescue of an LTTE operative who had been apprehended by the Special Operations Unit.