The anarchy is likely to worsen when a furious campaign gets into full gear for elections to the Northern, North-Central and Central Provinces.
For more than 15 years this political ‘Atha Kota’ has allegedly being involved in a series of killings, rapes and gang rapes and the illegal felling of trees belonging to Noori Estate, adjoining forest reserves and even in privately owned lands. He is also alleged to have been involved in demanding ransom, assaulting people and even attacking police officers or public servants who did not take orders from him.
Getting back to Deraniyagala, a senior police officer from outside the area is alleged to be interfering with the ongoing investigations and is tampering with vital evidence as revealed in the media in recent weeks. He is also alleged to be trying to show that media reports were either baseless or lacked substance.
With little hope and no one to turn to, thousands of people in the area yesterday risked their lives to stage a public demonstration. They demanded that the Police Special Task Force — which was rushed to the area in the aftermath of the killing of the estate superintendent — be kept in Deraniyagala because only the STF appears to have the power and the independence to tackle the political thuggery.
The people who have become victims of the complete breakdown of law and order with crooked police officers even refusing to hear their complaints against political thugs have now apparently decided that enough is enough. If they cannot get justice from the police and political leaders then they have no option but to resort to street justice which in itself is a dangerous trend.
If the police in the area are claiming they have no evidence to indict ‘Atha Kota’ for the killing of the Estate Chief, the Attorney’s General Department or even President Mahinda Rajapaksa must intervene to stop this mayhem in Deraniyagala.