Killing of two policemen: Former LTTE cadre surrenders

A former LTTE cadre surrendered to Police yesterday over the killing of two police constables at a checkpoint in Batticaloa and the removal of their weapons, a senior officer said yesterday. The suspect, identified as Rasanayagam Saravanandan, 48, a resident of Vattakachchi in Kilinochchi, surrendered to the Kilinochchi police station claiming he was responsible for the killings at Vavunathivu in Batticaloa. The two policemen were found dead on Friday morning with gunshot injuries. However, police claimed the suspect was arrested.

The crime scene where the two policemen were killed

The two constables — Dinesh Ganesh and Niroshan Indika from Batticaloa and Galle — were promoted posthumously to the rank of sergeant. Senior Police Superintendent T. Ganeshanathan told the Sunday Times the suspect had surrendered without any weapons and his statement was being recorded before he was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which had been entrusted with the inquiry.

Initial police investigations revealed that the suspect, who was from Batticaloa, had been a trainer while in the LTTE in the Kilinochchi area and had married in the same area where he was living with four of his children. Police backed by the STF carried out search operations for the suspects soon after the bodies of the two policemen were found by two of their colleagues who came in to take over duties on Friday morning. One of them was found dead outside the checkpoint and the other was found dead on a bed.

Area police officers said they were also investigating whether it was revenge killing to a police action where new monuments had been put up last week at a Vakari cemetery where former LTTE cadres had been buried. The monuments were removed a day before commemoration ceremonies were held to remember the LTTE members who died in the war.

Police were investigating yesterday if the suspect who surrendered was also involved in organising the commemoration ceremonies in the Eastern Province.
At least four persons whose movements had been recorded on a CCTV camera have also been questioned and released. Inspector General Pujith Jayasundara and Senior DIG CID accompanied by other officers visited the crime scene on Friday. Two CID teams have been assigned for the investigations.
Meanwhile, the postmortem examinations were conducted at the Batticaloa hospital. Initial observations revealed that they were shot at close range and both policemen had cut injuries.


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