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 Post subject: Mafia-styled killings by underworld gangs
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:54 pm 
Rising crime rate: police headquarters to be blamed?

@ Sunday Leader
6th February 2000

Law enforcement authorities in Sri Lanka deployed hundreds of trained policemen on the streets of Colombo and the suburbs due to the increase of violence in the city. Seven people were gunned down and four wounded in three separate incidents of violence last week.

The victims were gunned down in Mafia-styled killings which were blamed on the leaders of underworld gangs. Of the seven killed, three were from the same family. They were shot dead by an assassin armed with automatic weapons, travelling on a motor-cycle. The family was gunned down while they were on their way home after visiting a relative at Chilaw.

In the other incident three persons were assassinated by unidentified men in a double-cab. The midnight orgy of blood occurred at a restaurant where the gunmen, allegedly under the influence liquor, shot dead two persons and later stormed into the restaurant to gun down their final victim.

The men, believed to be army deserters, had later visited Ratmalana and were seriously wounded in another shoot-out there.

Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen abducted a nursery-going child and demanded a ransom of Rs.500,000 from the parents.

Police officials said most of the crimes were carried out by the underworld gangs with the connivance of army deserters from areas in the outskirts of Colombo.

Officials said that soldiers from the north and east smuggled arms for the use of these gangs. They said that most of the soldiers arriving from the east do not submit their bags for checking at the Mannam- pitiya bridge checkpoint and as a result several weapons, which include powerful hand grenades, are sold to the underworld at cheap rates.

In a bizarre incident last week, two soldiers arriving south were stopped at a checkpoint for a routine check but the soldiers refused to heed orders to produce their identification papers. It is learnt that the bags they were carrying contained some deadly explosive devices.

On Thursday night, in another incident at Kottigahawatte, a police constable and a another person were killed while travelling in a MP's vehicle. The other victim was identified as Dinesh Silva, a suspect in ASP Shanthi Kumar's assassination case.

It was rumored that Silva also master-minded a raid on a popular vocalist's house recently.

A high ranking police official said that the police department will be able to curb the rising crime rate only if the police headquarters gets its act together.

"The IGP should get rid of all those policemen working hand-in-glove with the criminal gangs," an officer who did not wish to be named told The Sunday Leader.

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