Eye Witness Killed In Wadduwa
- Police surprised no one has seen the incident
By Nirmala Kannangara
A mother of two, who was due to give evidentce in court on Monday (August 20) against the suspect of her husband’s muder, was killed at Wadduwa in broad daylight on Sunday (August 19).
OIC Wadduwa, Chief Inspector Lalith Weerasinghe said that Adussuriyage Indrani – the victim, was one of the main witnesses at her husband’s murder trial and was to give evidence at the Magistrate Court Panadura the following day – Monday August 20 against the murder suspect who is being held at the remand prison in Welikada.
“This dead woman’s husband was shot dead six years ago and she was an eye witness. Although we are not sure as to who was behind this murder, police believe that she was killed to stop her from giving evidence in court since she was one of the key witnesses,” OIC Weerasinghe said.
Indrani succumbed to her injuries on admission to the Panadura Base Hospital. She had been shot at point blank range by an unidentified gunman while at work at a hardware shop at Melagama, Morontuduwa – adjoining her small house. According to OIC, Wadduwa, six empty cartridges have been found at the scene and the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) has confirmed that she had received six gunshots to the head, left breast, stomach and mouth.
“A special police team is investigating. Although we believe that Indrani was murdered to silence her from giving evidence, we do not have proof yet,” the OIC said.
However, Indrani’s sister Manel said that they knew nothing about her sister giving evidence at her husband’s murder trial but only knew that she was attending court on hearing dates.
“My sister called me last Friday and said that her husband’s case was not taken up that day due to court vacation and added that she had to go to courts again on Monday as the murder suspect would be produced in court. Had we known that she was giving evidence at her husband’s murder trial, we wouldn’t have allowed her to go to court,” said Manel.
Indrani’s 11-year-old son Amith was clueless as to why his mother was killed as he and his 13 year old sister have now become orphans.
“I can vaguely remember as to how my father was gunned down six years ago. He was killed by two motorcyclists just in front of the house. It was my mother who looked after both of us since then. Since my mother too has been killed we are now orphans,” said little Amith.
For Amith, he has no idea as to what will happen next as he and his elder sister is too young to stay at their house after the funeral.
“I am in grade 7 at the Wadduwa Central School. After our father’s death amma worked at the adjoining hardware stores to take care of the family. On that day, amma prepared breakfast, lunch and washed all our clothes and went to work asking us to take the clothes in, if it rained. While we were in the living room after breakfast, we heard sounds of crackers. Until someone from the neighborhood broke the news we did not know that it was gunshots not crackers fired to kill amma,” said Amith. He said that although he and his sister called the mother when she was lying on the ground with severe head and chest injuries there was no response from her. “We ran to the hardware shop and saw amma in a pool of blood. Blood was oozing from her head, mouth and chest. Although we called her several times there was no response. She was then taken to the hospital and little later somebody came and broke the saddest news to us,” said Amith.
According to Manel, her brother-in-law was murdered because he was giving information to the police about illegal happenings at Morontuduwa.
“Since he was an informant, the notorious underworld gang led by ‘Sambaba’ has allegedly killed him. When he was gunned down my sister had seen the killers and later had identified them at an identification parade. When we came to know that my sister had identified the killers, we all asked her not to get involved in unnecessary issues as the country’s situation was bad. After her death only we came to know that she was giving evidence- as she was one of the key witnesses in this murder trial,” said Manel.
Manel queried as to why President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Defence Minister cannot stop the ever increasing murders that take place in the country.
“Although our rulers are boasting that we have peace and the country is a safe place to live in, what is the assurance that they can give us when things are happening in this way.
Why cannot he introduce gallows to curtail this wave of crime in the country even to a certain extent,” she asked. According to OIC Weerasinghe, the killers had used a T56 for the murder.
“It was the police 119 emergency that informed us of the shooting and by the time we went there, she has been taken to the hospital. Although we recorded statements from the hardware owner and the neighbours, surprisingly no one has seen the incident.
We assume that people are scared to give any evidence as this was the second murder in six years at the same place. Had the neighbours described what the motorcycle was, we could have alerted the police checkpoints in the area, but couldn’t as there were no evidence,” said the OIC.