On 27th February, 2011 Some drunken police officers from the Negombo police station came to the house of Marasingha Arachchige Maithree Nắrada, took Maithee Narada into custody with regard of a cattle theft in Kadirana area, and took him to the police station and assaulted him inhumanly.
Narada was residing temporarily in a house at Kadirna area in Negombo. On 27 February, 2011 between 10.45 & 11.00 p.m while he and his wife were sleeping someone knocked at the door of the house. As it was late in the evening he asked who it was prior to opening the door. A person answered and said that they were from the police station. Then, as Narada was opening the door, two persons in civilian clothes entered the house. One of the officers was known to Narada as Sergeant Silva of the Negombo police station. As they were entering the house Sergeant Silva asked whether Maithree Narada was there and Narada said that he was that person. Sergeant Silva told him that he had to give a statement and to put on a shirt, “and come to go to the police”.
When Narada asked the reason for the statement Sergeant Silva simply repeated himself, “A statement to be taken, come”. Narada dressed and left the house with them. While they were taking him towards the cab of the Negombo Police Station which was parked about 40 to 50 meters away from the house, he noticed a police officer who was in civilian clothes, standing near the bathroom of the house and that he had a nunchak in his hand. There was another police officer close to the front door of the house. He was in uniform and was holding a blue coloured hose pipe.
Narada was told to get into the jeep. After the jeep had travelled about 150 or 200 meters towards Kadirana it suddenly stopped. Sergeant Silva who was sitting in the front seat, got down and ordered Narada to also get out of the vehicle. At that time he realised that the police officers had consumed liquor due to their behavior and the smell of liquor when they talked. When Narada asked why they had stopped Sergeant Silva replied, “You know why you were brought here.” Narada told Sergeant Silva he had no idea of why he had been brought to the place. Mr Silva then said, “Get down Cariya (bastard).”
Narada still had no idea of why he had been brought to this particular place. Sergeant Silva told him, “It is from here that the cattle were loaded You know about that don’t you?” Again Narada told them that he did not know anything about it. Then Sergeant Silva said, “You don’t know anything. You are a baby. I will do some good work on to you. Look”. Then again he was made to get into the jeep and ordered to lie down while putting his legs outside. The officer who was sitting at the rear side of the jeep got down with a stump in his hand. Again Narada asked why he was being treated in this manner and Sergeant Silva, told him, “You know the persons who robbed the cattle and the place where they were taken to, and now tell them to us.” So saying he gave three blows to soles of Narada’s feet with the stump. Later as he could not bear the pain Narada tried to retract his legs but another officer who was sitting at the back of the jeep grabbed them. Then again Sergeant Silva gave him six blows telling him, “Tell me now you devil (Yakko) speak, who got the cattle.” Sergeant Silva sat in the front seat and told him, “You know who got the cattle, we have received information that you are the accomplice.”
They took Narada to the Negombo police station and arrived at about 11.30 p.m. Narada was made to sit on a bench while the officers for the dinner at the rear the station. After 15 minutes Sergeant Silva returned with a stump in his hand and said to Narada, “We are not saying that you robbed the cattle, but that you know the persons who did it. You tell us the truth and tomorrow morning I will put you out without filling a case”. Narada replied that he too went with the cattle owners to search for the lost cattle. He also said that if he knew anything he would tell the police in order to avoid being beaten.
He told Sergeant Silva that on the day when the cattle were lost his father stayed at his house. His father would be able to verify his whereabouts and movements. Sergeant Silva, however, became angry and shouted, “Yakko tell me who got cattle.” Then he assaulted Narada with the stump.
Narada tried to avoid the blows but Sergeant Silva grabbed his neck and pulled him to a table which was close to the crime section. He ordered Narada to lie on that table. Narada pleaded with the police officer not to assault him but Mr Silva told him, “We know that you did not rob the cattle but you know who did, tell us their names.” As he shouted this he gave Narada eight blows to the soles of his feet. Narada continued to deny that he knew the identities of the thieves and Mr Silva told him, “You are not telling who the robbers are, Kariya get ready, I will hang you then you will tell the truth”. At that time he received a call on his mobile phone. Sergeant Silva told another officer to put Narada in a cell and left the station.
On 28th Feb. 2011, at about 9.10 a.m. Narada’s wife S. Priyangani, and his sister Nilakshi Anuradha went to the police station to see him. At that time Narada was thoroughly scared and told them that Sergeant Silva had said that he will be hanged and assaulted. Upon hearing this his wife told him not to be afraid as they were going to lodge a complaint at the Human Rights Commission. After a short time they left the police station.
The same day between at 1.00 p.m. Sergeant Silva asked, “Which one from you went to the Human Rights Commission? Let’s see how this case could be solved through Human Rights; saying that he went towards the crime section.
On that day at 1.30 pm. a police officer went to the cell and asked Narada to identify himself. He took Narada out of the cell and to the back side of the police station. Then this officer took him to the crime section and Sergeant Silva who was sitting there on a chair, made him kneel down. He got up from the chair and said “Cariya, your ones have gone to the Human Rights against me, I will not let you go easily. I will somehow send you to prison for 5 or 6 years by planting a bomb or drugs or ganja”. So saying he assaulted Narada on his face and body. When Narada fell down and he called an officer and mentioning the name of a book told him to bring it. Then that office brought the book and while Mr Silva was writing Narada’s name in that book said, “You better know I will put every cattle robbery on you. If you can, get released from the human rights. So saying he wrote something in the book and without showing what had been written forced Narada to sign it. Then he said, “I will take you to the Negombo hospital, and the doctor will ask when you were taken in to the custody. Tell that it was today morning at 6.00 o’clock. If the doctor asks you whether you were assaulted , reply him ‘No.’ Then I will send you home in the evening today. If you tell the doctor that you were assaulted, you know that you are going to the police again”. Later at about 2.30 p.m. Narada was directed to a doctor of the Negombo Hospital. When questioned as to whether he was assaulted he replied saying “No”.
Narada was then returned to the cell again. On the afternoon of the same day between 3.00 to 4.00 p.m. Narada’s wife went to see him and he told her to meet the OIC. Then when she was going toward OICs room Mr Silva who was close by her, shouted at her saying, “Did you go to the human rights? Bloody harlots ? (Patta panduru wesiyo) You devil (yakko) I have a service of 24 years here. Do you come to work on me? I will put all cattle robberies in the Negombo police into your husband’s name, and get them solved from the court”. Narada’s wife who was very ashamed from the insults went out of the police station. On 1 March 2011, at about 8.30 a.m. a police officer called Narada’s name and told him to get ready to go to the court. On that day between 2.30 to 3.00 the case E/660/2011 was called at the Negombo Magistrate’s court and Narada pleaded not guilty and was released by the Hon. Magistrate on a cash bail of Rs 7500.00 and physical bond of Rs 200,000.00.