IGP hits back at minister


IGP N. K. Ilangakoon yesterday strongly disputed Industries and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiyutheen’s assertion that the police had failed to quell violence in the wake of protests launched against a Mosque at Swarna Chaitya Mawatha, in the Grandpass area Saturday night. They clashed at a public meeting held in Colombo to discuss ways and means to defuse the situation. The minister demanded that the IGP resign. An irate police chief inquired whether the minister wanted the police to cause a situation similar to that of Weliweriya. The IGP was referring to the army crackdown on protesters demanding the closure of a factory accused of polluting water in the Rathupaswela area. The IGP said that action was taken to bring the situation under control with the minimum use of force. The police chief went to the extent of saying that the minister couldn’t ask him to quit as he was appointed by the President. The police chief was responding to minister’s demand that he should quit over the mob violence.

The Defence Ministry earlier directed the police headquarters to control the situation with minimum use of force.

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