By S.S. Selvanayagam
Five Police officers arrested in connection with the shooting of two Jaffna University students are seeking the Court of Appeal to transfer their case out of the Northern and Eastern provinces.
They are also seeking the Court to issue an interim order restraining the continuation of their case in the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court until the final determination of their application.
The bench comprising Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda (President/CA) and S. Thurairaja granted the respondents time until 6 April to file objections.
The police officers accused in the shooting are D. Sarath Bandara Dissanayake, E.M. Jayawardene, P. Navaratna Bandara, S.A. Chandana Kumara Pathirana and Thangarasa Lankamaman. In their petition, they cited the Jaffna Police Station OIC, the OIC of the Criminal Investigation Department and the Attorney General as respondents.
Tirantha Waralaliyadde PC, instructed by Shashika Mithuna Arachchi, appeared for the petitioners. Senior State Counsel Madhava Tennekoon appeared for the Attorney General.
The police officers are accused of killing two Jaffna University students, Vijayakumar Sulakshan (24) of Kandarodai in Chunnakam, Jaffna and Nadarajah Gajan (23) from Iranaimadu in Kilinochchi. Both were third-year students at the Jaffna University’s Faculty of Arts and were studying political science and journalism.
The officers are now remanded at the Anuradhapura Remand Prison. They plead that their life is in danger if they continue coming to the Jaffna Courts.
On the night of 20 October 2016, it was reported that the two students were shot by the officers at a police checkpoint at Kulappiddy Junction, Kokuvil in Jaffna. The students sustained fatal injuries after they were shot at by the police for disobeying orders to stop their motorcycle at a roadblock.
Although police initially denied shooting the students, a post-mortem found bullets in one of the bodies.