|LTTE ignores call to hand over chief suspect in Madhu killing
by Shamindra Ferdinando
The LTTE is yet to respond to a police request to hand over the chief suspect wanted in connection with last months triple killings at Thatchanamaruthamadhu near Madhu, a senior policeman said yesterday.
"The LTTE continues to hold the suspect," he grumbled. "We also requested them to hand over a vehicle held by them," he said, adding that they also sought permission to visit the scene of the crime. "They have not responded yet," he said, asserting that they could not go ahead with the investigation without questioning the chief suspect identified as S. Jayashankar.
Investigators cannot even visit the scene of the crime without the LTTEs consent.
The request was made through the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) overseeing the ceasefire agreement between the government and the LTTE. It was made two weeks ago.
However, Vavuniya police has been successful in arresting two more suspects wanted in connection with the killings. Thirteen suspects have been arrested but the LTTE continues to detain the person who planned the killings over a trade dispute.
Police acknowledged that the LTTE wanted to play a pivotal role in the probe. "There is no option but to secure their co-operation," the police officer said. "We are in a dilemma," he asserted, expressing the belief that the success of the police would depend on the LTTEs support.
"The LTTE is taking advantage of the incident and the subsequent investigation to justify its ambitious bid to improve and expand its judicial system," another officer said.
The LTTE on July 28 handed over the bodies of the victims to the police. The bodies had been subjected to post-mortem at Molankavil government hospital by a qualified government medical officer. It was done on a directive given by one of the Tiger judges identified as Kogulan. The bodies had been embalmed. However, Vavuniya District Magistrate Manikavasagar Illancheliyan after viewing the bodies ordered police to send them to Kandy for further examination. Police have sought the post-mortem reports from the medical officer.
Inquiries have revealed that the chief suspect identified as S. Jayashankar had paid Rs. 360,000 to one of the victims after he was assured that the private passenger bus would be given to him.
The passenger bus owner who had taken the money declined to hand over the vehicle. After failing to persuade the bus owner to hand over the bus or return the money, he appeared to have planned the killings. The victims were killed on July 24th.
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