Following dramatic arrest by CID officers aboard a flight to Dubai UAE on 26th, Dhaniz Ali remanded till 5 August by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court; Suspect allegedly entered the Sri Lanka Rupavahini (Television) Corporation (SLRC) premises in Colombo 7 and interfered with its broadcasting

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

A suspect named Dhaniz Ali, who is alleged to have entered the Sri Lanka Rupavahini (Television) Corporation (SLRC) premises in Colombo 7 and interfered with its broadcasting, was ordered to be remanded till 5 August by the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court yesterday evening following his dramatic arrest by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers aboard a flight to Dubai UAE on Tuesday (26).

In the videos related to the incident, a group of officers of the CID who had boarded the relevant aircraft that was about to depart from the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake was seen arresting the suspect amidst opposition from the suspect himself, as well as other passengers. The other passengers who were aboard the flight were seen asking the CID officers why airport officers had cleared the suspect if there was an arrest warrant issued against him.

In a press release issued by the Police Media Division (PMD) after his arrest, it was stated that the suspect was arrested for allegedly entering the SLRC premises located in the Cinnamon Garden Police area, and making a threatening statement on live television, thereby suspending its broadcasting for a certain period.

The arrest of the suspect, a 31-year-old resident of the Kurunegala area was, according to the PMD, made by the officers attached to the CID unit established at the BIA.

The Police further stated that the Colombo Fort Police had reported to the court regarding the suspect, as he is alleged to have engaged in a protest held blocking the gates of the Ministry of Finance on 20 June, when a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived for a discussion with the representatives of the Ministry. However, the Police stated that the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court has issued warrants for the suspect’s arrest due to his failure to appear in court in relation to the relevant incident.

In addition to this, the Police stated that the suspect was released on bail after being produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court for allegedly causing damage to public property during a protest held in front of the Police Headquarters (HQ) on 9 June.

Furthermore, it was stated that he has been identified as a suspect related to an incident in which a group of army intelligence officers were allegedly attacked and forcibly detained near the Presidential Secretariat at the Galle Face Green on 12 June.

The Police also stated that the suspect has been identified as a suspect in an alleged incident of threatening and trying to forcibly evacuate a group of police officers attached to the Colombo Fort Police Station who had visited the statue of the slain Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike at the Galle Face Green on 20 July, on information that there was a plan to cause damage to the said statue.

The Police said that he is currently in the custody of the CID officials and that further investigations are underway.

However, activists at the “RanilGoGama” public protest site, who are demanding the resignation of President Wickremesinghe, are alleging that most of the allegations against the suspect, as stated by the Police, are false. There are various posts protesting his arrest on social media platforms, especially on Facebook.

Following the massive protests held in Colombo on 9 July demanding the resignation of then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the latter left the country. He had appointed then-Premier Wickremesinghe as the Acting President and a protest was staged in front of the Premier’s office at Flower Road in Colombo 3 on 13 July. During the protest, a group of persons entered the SLRC premises and due to the incident, the State-owned channel went off the air for some time.

Courtesy:The Morning