Prabhakaran and his trusted lieutenants may be dead for months but the country is not yet free from terrorism of the underworld. There are some much advertised halfhearted forays into the nether world of crime from time to time but criminals have demonstrated their ability to rise above the law of the land. Worse, notorious underworld elements are even in a position to have efficient police officers taking the battle into the underworld transferred with the help of their corrupt superiors.
A few weeks ago we reported the police had arrested the mastermind of a cyber crime network responsible for the biggest ever credit card racket in this country. Among his victims are said to be foreign celebrities. Investigators have found that he used to get credit card details via e-mail from the four corners of the earth. He had been minting money for a long time at others' expense, when the police finally descended on him.
And what is the reward the police officer who was instrumental in arresting that notorious fraudster, after weeks of planning, has got for doing the Police Department proud? Is it a promotion or a huge cash reward? No. It is a transfer he never asked for!
OIC Wattala, Chief Inspector Janaka S. Karunasingha, who achieved that feat, is now fighting a lone battle to have his transfer cancelled. According to our sources, Karunasinghe, now on medical leave, recently saw, to his horror, the suspect who had been locked up to prevent communication with confederates, moving about freely within the premises of the Wattala police station! The fraudster was also boasting that he had got the OIC transferred!
The suspect has been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) but CI Karunasingha, who refused to budge under pressure from various quarters including a very senior police officer, is now receiving death threats. His predicament exemplifies the fate of efficient men and officers who dare do their job in the police.
The suspect is believed to be a close associate of Kudu Nauffer, now serving a life sentence for the assassination of Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, and we reliably learn that Nauffer is pressuring a controversial UPFA politician with underworld links (name withheld on legal advice) –– not 'Vermin' –– in the Western Province to secure the release of the suspect. Surprisingly, Nauffer, who is kept in a high security prison, is able to communicate with his accomplices. So much for the government's war against the underworld!
For a criminal outfit that has physically eliminated an upright judge, harming a police officer who has pitted himself against criminals and ruffled the feathers of his corrupt superiors in the process is child's play.
How dangerously efficient and calculating the evil axis of criminals, politicians and police bigwigs is, could be seen from their well thought out strategy to get the cyber crime suspect off the hook. They craftily made CI Karunasingha's transfer coincide with a recent foreign visit of Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who, they knew, would have stood by the intrepid inspector. Their plan went awry as Karunasingha refused to buckle under pressure and stood his ground.
It looks as if this country needed a separate police force to protect efficient police officers who alone can deliver the hapless citizenry from the clutches of criminals, against their corrupt top brass in cahoots with the scum of the earth.
One may not have anything complimentary to say about the Police Department but the fact remains that it is not short of honest and capable men and officers who have unfortunately chosen to subscribe to the unofficial motto of the police: Vedi veda vedi leda, no veda no leda (More work more trouble; no work, no trouble).
Is it surprising that the police have come to be characterised by inefficiency, lethargy and callous indifference?
The government must probe the despicable harassment of CI Karunasingha for having busted a mega cyber racket and appropriately deal with the corrupt police high rankers collaborating with criminals at the expense of their junior officers and men.
Over to you, Mr. President!