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 Post subject: War on underworld begins
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:12 am 
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War on underworld begins

According to the police, there were six main underworld groups operating in the country. All these groups operate from Colombo and based in Borella, Maligawatta, Kaduwela and Bloemendhal areas. Their main income was through on contract killings, robberies, extortion, forcibly capturing properties etc. Most of these underworld leaders get shelter from politicians and high ranking police officers.

@ Agencies / Aug 2009

Sri Lankan government has declared “war on the underworld”. As stated by President Mahinda Rajapakse, the aim is to build a morally clean, disciplined and law-abiding society. At a meeting in Badulla on July 24, Rajapakse said: “We must have a society that is disciplined and respects our motherland.... When we want to stop [illicit] alcohol, we cannot think about votes. When we want to crush the underworld, we cannot think about votes.”

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jayantha Wickramaratne told the media that he had been directed to launch a “four-pronged operation” to tackle the underworld. The targets would be organised crime, day-to-day unorganised crime, illicit liquor and narcotics and traffic breaches. Military intelligence will be involved, along with the Special Task Force (STF)—heavily armed police commando units, primarily used in the war against the LTTE. According to media reports, some 300 STF personnel have been assigned to the crackdown. A number of special police teams have been formed as part of this war on crime.

According to the police, there were six main underworld groups operating in the country. All these groups operate from Colombo and based in Borella, Maligawatta, Kaduwela and Bloemendhal areas. Their main income was through on contract killings, robberies, extortion, forcibly capturing properties etc. Most of these underworld leaders get shelter from politicians and high ranking police officers. Reports said that some politicians were providing weapons to these underworld leaders and official vehicles are used to carry out illegal activities.

Currently, one of the most violent underworld gangs in Colombo is called the ‘Fajee group’ and it was operating from the Maligawatta area. The Fajee group, is led by Fajee and was started with the support of some politicians. The founder members of the Muslim underworld were Anamalu Imtiyas, Kudunoor, Bhaisa, Rizwaan, Akram etc. later these figures had formed their own groups and became rivals to resulting in several members being killed during street fighting.

In recent weeks, the STF have intensified their activities and succeeded in arresting several underworld figures, wanted by the police. It is also learnt that some of the leaders of these gangs have already left the country with the support of certain politicians, although the President’s directive was that politicians should not help the underworld gangs . Few weeks ago ‘Anamalu Imtiyaz’ and several prominent underworld figures were found dead in Colombo.

One incident that made headlines recently was the killing of Aanamalu Imtiyaz, a notorious Maligawatte gang member whose bullet-riddled body was found dumped in a street in Pettah. According to the police, the victim was abducted in Kuliyapitiya four days earlier by armed men travelling in a van. The same day the bullet-riddled body of another leading gang member, Muhamed Nisthar, also previously abducted, was found dumped in a street in Grand Pass. According to sources, Aanamalu Imtiyaz’s big rival in the Maligawatte underworld is Faji, who was also killed by STF in Aug. On July 14, the body of another gang leader, Mohamed Anver, said to be a buddy of Faji, was found in Biyagama. Anver had also been abducted.

Another incident of a gang leader being abducted and killed was reported from Kirulapone in July. The victim was taken from his home in Dehiwala by unknown persons. The same day the bullet-riddled body of the main suspect in the killing of Danny Hithetiya, former chairman of the Southern Development Authority, was found in a ditch in Walawila Godella.

Another prominent group that works with the underworld is the ‘Jihad group’ . This would also pose a great threat on the country’s security. Under the direction of the President, the Police assisted by the security forces are engaged in wiping out this threat as well.

Police believe that the ‘Jihad group’ has spread its wide network in the East and Colombo and its suburbs. It is also reported that these members are using sophisticated weapons such as ‘Uzi guns’, that can be maneouvred easily.

In order to remove this threat, the defence ministry announced an amnesty to these groups operating in the eastern part of the country to hand over their weapons. However only less than twenty weapons have been handed over by these group though it is believed that they have a large number of weapons. Police assisted by the security forces are now carrying out search operations to track down these weapons and those suspected of having them. It is learnt that several prominent members of the Muslim clergy and politicians were behind these groups. After notifying that this group would pose a great threat on the sovereignty of the country the Rajapaksa government is to take tough precautionary action to wipe out this group from the country. The Army are also actively involved in wiping out the underworld menace and the Jihad threat from the country using their intelligence network, which showed successful results during the war against the Tigers.

The LTTE prior to its defeat used southern underworld figures to carry out their tasks easily outside of the north and east. According to intelligence reports the LTTE had used several prominent Colombo based underworld leaders to carry out their activities in Colombo and its suburbs. Among them were ‘Kimbula-Ela Gune’, Borelle Olcot’, and ‘Ice Manju’. Using these persons the LTTE carried out several successful and unsuccessful attacks in Colombo. Chief among such attacks was the assassination attempt on former President Chandrika Kumaratunga at Town Hall. According to reports Kimbula-Ela Gune was the mastermind of the attack and the police have succeeded in finding enough evidence to prove that.

Another prominent figure ‘Ice Manju’ also aided the Tamil Tigers to carry out their activities in Colombo and its suburbs. It is learnt that the Tamil Tigers had spent a large sum of money for these underworld figures and had provided their needs. ‘Ice Manju’, who had close ties with the LTTE frequently visited the LTTE held areas and latest reports revealed that during the last phase of the war, Ice Manju was in Mullaitivu area and fought against the Sri Lanka Army and died during the battle.


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