Family Of Rape Victims Live In Fear
By Niranjala Ariyawansha
The Probation and Child Protection Authority has been handed over the investigation into the rape of the 13-year-old school girl from Tangalle, which resulted in the arrest of 22 persons. The girl was held and repeatedly raped from the 6th of June to the 13th of June at different guest houses. This was revealed by Police spokesperson Ajith Rohana.
“Further investigations into the case of rape involving this school girl has been handed over to the Probation and Child Protection Authority. 22 persons are presently remanded in this connection. In fact the court has requested a report from the Child Protection Authority. I have no doubt that the maximum penalty would be given if they are found guilty,” he said.
With media attention focused on this crime the suspects have surrendered to the Police through their lawyers. On the 11th of July the school girl had identified three persons at an identification parade held in the Tangalle High Court. The OIC of the Women and Childrens Bureau of the Tangalle Police, Sriyani said that she was continuing further investigations by questioning the school girl at length.
The father of the victim W. Somasiri from Naruwalwita, Hakmana says that his younger daughter was first raped by a distant relative named Anura and since this came to light his family members have been threatening them. “ My daughter ran away from home after Anura raped her. Now his family members are threatening us saying that he will take revenge after being released from remand. We are afraid now. I lodged a complaint at Hakmana Police,” said Somasiri.
Police spokesperson Ajith Rohana claimed that he was unaware of such a complaint. “No one from a suspect’s family can threaten members of the victim’s family. That is illegal. Besides this is before a court of law. No one can take the law into their own hands”.
The suspect Anura having raped the 13-year-old had thereafter raped her 16-year-old elder sister as well.
By the 8th of July 20 persons had been arrested and remanded on suspicion. Nilipul Jayawickrema, a millionaire businessman and his son Isuru, also suspects in this case, surrendered to Tangalle Police through their lawyers on the 9th of July. By now 22 persons have been taken into custody over this case.
It was reported that the 13-year-old girl had run away from home over an argument that took place between her father and her. That was on June 6. Some suspects had accosted her in Tangalle town, had taken her to Namal Guest House and held her for over 3 days. There they had raped her. Therafter she was taken to different guest houses by others and raped until the 13th of June. Most of the suspects are wealthy businessmen from Tangalle.
She subsequently made a complaint to the police after her sister’s incident came to light. The father of the victim is frightened to keep even the elder girl in his house. He wished that the elder girl too be kept in the protective custody of the Probation and Child Protection Authority together with her younger sister.