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Army dismisses claims on arrest

2014 Mar 18

The military says Balendran Jayakumari is being dealt with under the law and that she was arrested for harboring an armed criminal wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation.

Army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that a team of law enforcement officers conducting an investigation into recent distribution of hand bills in the north by LTTE propagandists with a message detrimental to national unity had trailed a known ex LTTE cadre named Gobi who had escaped from the Vavuniya Welfare Centre immediately after the end of conflict.

He said that on reliable information that the suspect was hiding in a house in the Killinochchi area, on 13 March 2014 the team went to arrest him. The suspect who was in possession of a gun opened fire and escaped wounding an officer who is now hospitalized.

The army spokesman said that when the house he was hiding was searched a F-3 type Metal Detector which is used to detect metal objects/mines buried underground was found in the premises.

“The owner of the house a woman named Balendran Jayakumari was taken into custody for harboring an armed criminal wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation. Her young daughter (a minor aged 13) was also taken in to protective custody as there was no adult in the neighborhood willing to give shelter to her. The woman was produced to the magistrate courts and has been detained after following due legal procedure,” the army spokesman said.

He said that the allegations made by some politicians with vested interests that the arrest was carried out as the suspect was one of their supporters is incorrect and totally baseless.

“Such misleading statements are politically motivated and we reject these attempts to hide the truth. The actions taken by the law enforcement authorities are well within the existing legal framework and are carried out to ensure peace, territorial integrity and national unity,” he added.

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