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Alleged torture of press owner: SC seeks report

By S.S. Selvanayagam

Daily Mirror,28th June 2008

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the Terrorist Investigation Division to produce press owner Vetrivel Jasiharan before the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer within one week.

The Bench comprising Justices Raja Fernando, Saleem Marsoof and K. Sripavan also directed the registrar of the court to call for a report from the JMO with regard to any injuries found on the suspect.

The Court made this order subsequent to submissions made by the petitioner’s Counsel J.C. Weliamuna who alleged that Mr. Jesiharan had been tortured.

The counsel requested court to direct that the petitioner be produced before the JMO for examination and for a report of any injuries found on him. Senior State Counsel Riyaz Hamza said he had no objection to the application. The petition was filed by Mr. Jasiharan’s wife V. Valarmathi – formerly Shakthi TV programme producer and temporary lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the Jaffna University.

Mr. Jasiharan was a contributor to the Tamil weekly “Sarinigar” and is the owner of Outreachsl.com website funded by a German Technical Cooperation project Facilitating Local Initiatives for Conflict Transformation (FLICT).

Inspector Prasanna de Alwis, Senior Superintendent Nandana Munasinghe and Inspector H.M. Janakantha of the TID, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Police Chief Victor Perera the Attorney General were cited as respondents.

He said that on March 6, several TID officers including Inspector Janakantha arrived at his printing press situated at Jampettah Street and took him to his house at Kotahena.

They searched the house and arrested him and his fiancée Valarmathi and took them to the TID.

The petitioner maintained that no search warrant was shown to him and neither was he informed of the reason for the arrest.

He claims he has never been involved directly or indirectly in any unlawful activity nor has he had any links whatsoever directly or indirectly with LTTE.

He alleged that upon his arrest, his father and sister immediately went to the Kotahena Police Station to lodge a complaint. However, the officers at the police station refused to entertain their complaint.

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