UNP MP says MoD informed him that Ekneligoda abducted by organized gang

By Saman Indrajith

UNP Kalutara District MP Ajith P. Perera yesterday told Parliament that he had been informed by the Ministry of Defence that there was evidence to prove that Prageeth Ekneligoda had been abducted by an organized group.

MP Perera, participating in the debate on Parliamentary Scholarship Board (Repeal) Bill, said that he had also been informed by the ministry that the abductors of Eknaligoda had not been identified as yet.

The MP tabled a letter he had received from the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. The letter dated June 12, 2013, has been signed by K. A. Ranjith, Additional Secretary (Parliament and Civil Affairs) on behalf of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.

The letter said: "Sandhya Eknaligoda had made a complaint on January 25, 2010 to the Homagama police that her husband Prageeth Eknaligoda, of the address No 136/2, Suhada Mawatha, Hiripitiya, Pannipitiya, had gone missing since January 24, 2010. Officers attached to the Mirihana Special Crime Investigation Unit have investigated the complaint and reported their findings to the Homagama Magistrate’s Court in case No M/C 7414/2010.

"Later, the investigations had been handed over to the Colombo Crimes Division on February 26, 2010.

"According to the findings, the person abducted had been working as a freelance journalist and had contributed mostly to the Lankanewsweb online news site.

"The police have investigated the details from the SIM cards of the mobile phone numbers used by the abducted person. The information extracted has not yet yielded exact details of the last person, Eknaligoda had met. Accordingly, the information reported so far has not been able to provide a base to ascertain who had abducted him.

"Police have investigated a person who is said to have come from Dambulla to meet Eknaligoda and the details of their telephone conversations. It has been found that the telephones that had maintained contacts with the person, said to have come from Dambulla, had been disconnected following Eknaligoda’s disappearance. Among those contacts, a number of contacts were from European countries.

"It has been ascertained that upto now some other numbers that had maintained contact with the two telephones used by Prageeth Eknaligoda had not changed their SIM cards. Investigations are being conducted in this regard. Senior DIG Western Province has reported that according to the details found so far from investigations, information has been found to believe that Prageeth Eknaligoda had been abducted by an organized group."

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