DM Moratuwa Correspondent’s

Published : 9:00 am  December 8, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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duties obstructed

By Thilanka Kanakarathne   
Daily Mirror and Lankadeepa Moratuwa Provincial Correspondent Rekha Tharangani was obstructed from performing her duties at the Moratuwa Courts Complex yesterday, when a policeman on duty there grabbed her camera and mobile phone and deleted all the images contained in them.   

The police officer, attached to the Moratuwa Court Complex had performed this high-handed act when our correspondent went to cover an incident where a suspect who had been brought to the courts complex had escaped.   Accordingly, our correspondent had taken pictures outside the court soon after a suspect, who was to be produced in court, was escaping from custody.   

It was reported that Police Constable (70877) Susantha, who was also the Protective Services Officer (PSO) of the Magistrate, had threatened to take matters into his hands if our correspondent did not delete the pictures captured on her camera herself. He had said she would be arrested and produced before the Magistrate.   

She had refused to do so and had argued that it was not an offence to take pictures outside the Court house when the judge is not in court.   Our paper the Daily Mirror on August 17 reported that the cell in which prisoners were kept in in the Main Court was in poor condition. It was reported that the suspect had escaped through the roof of the holding cell.   

However, when contacted an official of the Moratuwa Police denied the allegation and said the reporter was only advised not to take pictures of the scene.   

Meanwhile, condemning the actions of the police official Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association President Lasantha Ruhunage said the police officer doesn’t have any authority to snatch the journalist’s camera and mobile phone and that by doing so he had threatened the freedom afforded to journalist in the country.   He said their Association strongly condemns the police officer’s act and said that although the officer was assigned to the judge that doesn’t give him the right to do whatever he felt like. He urged IGP Pujith Jayasundara and the National Police Commission to conduct an impartial inquiry into the matter as soon as possible.   

The journalist had made a complaint to the Moratuwa Police which she was told would be forwarded to the SSP Mount Lavinia division.   Reportedly, the police officer in question had denied the chargers.