Supreme Court Petition Alleges Violation of Rights in Shooting of Minor by Police in Thihagoda


A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, highlighting the alleged violation of fundamental rights in the shooting of a fifteen-year-old minor by police officers in Thihagoda. The petitioner, Dhammika Malkanthi, seeks justice for her son, who sustained severe injuries during the incident.

According to the petitioner, the incident occurred on October 28, 2022, when her son and several companions were traveling in a three-wheeler on Kandepola Road. They encountered a minor obstruction, leading four police officers, including Sub Inspector Sunil Rajagalagoda Gamage, to halt their vehicle.

The petitioner claims that the police officers appeared to be intoxicated, emitting a strong smell of liquor and exhibiting reddish pupils. Sub Inspector Gamage allegedly pointed his pistol at the petitioner’s son at close range, accusing him of being a thug. Amidst the confrontation, Gamage shot the minor, resulting in severe head injuries and loss of consciousness.

After persistent pleas, the police officers agreed to transport the injured minor to the hospital. The petitioner states that her son underwent multiple surgeries but remains unconscious. While Sub Inspector Gamage has been arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department, no action has been taken against the other officers present who allegedly aided and abetted in the shooting.

The petitioner contends that Sub Inspector Gamage’s claim of accidental shooting during a quarrel is implausible due to the series of actions required to fire a weapon. Witnesses, including the minor’s companions, have provided affidavits supporting the petitioner’s version of events.

Despite lodging complaints with various authorities, including the Inspector General of Police and the Human Rights Commission, the petitioner asserts that no significant action has been taken against the respondents. In her petition, she seeks the Supreme Court’s intervention to address the violation of the fundamental right to equality and equal protection of the law, as guaranteed by Article 12(1) of the Sri Lankan Constitution.

The Supreme Court will now consider the petition and decide whether to grant leave to proceed. If granted, the court will examine the allegations in detail and may provide appropriate relief, such as compensation and a declaration of the violation of fundamental rights.

The petitioner’s legal representative remains determined to pursue justice for the minor and reserves the right to amend the petition or provide additional evidence if necessary.

Given the gravity of the allegations and the potential implications for police accountability and the protection of fundamental rights in Sri Lanka, this case has garnered significant attention.

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