Report Reveals Details On Samyan Muder

by Ashanthi Warunasuriya

Udaya Shantha Pathirana alias Ranale Samayan and Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminathan

Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminathan has given his  approval on continuing the investigations being carried out by the three member committee appointed to investigate into the Kalutara Prison bus attack.

In the light of the investigations explored so far, the minister has taken steps to provide a bulletproof bus ensuring the security of high profile underworld prisoners. It is noteworthy to highlight that the bulletproof bus  has been  constructed by the local companies making the utmost use of local natural resources. The importance of such a bullet proof bus for the safe transportation of the prisoners has  been a necessity of the entire prison system of the country. Thus, the manufacturing of the first bus which was completed successfully has been given for the use of the Kegalle prison whereas steps have been implemented to manufacture more buses in the future for the distribution among other prisons as well. The special bus is manufactured exclusively for the purpose of ensuring the safety and protection of the prisoners during  times of transportation.

Appointing a group of specially trained police officers to undertake due actions during such an attack has also commenced. Thus, to prevent such incidents happening in the future, Swaminathan extended rigorous measures  to train a special group of police cadre and to train them to the standard of military training by upgrading the level of training.

The Three Member Committee appointed to investigate into the murder of Samayan near the Kalutara prison, has asked that the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Prison Reforms and Hindu Religious Affairs to look into the reasons as to why the murder happened near a prison, a place where there is ample security. The minister also advised the Ministerial Secretary to take steps in implementing the recommendations pointed out by the committee, as well as opening up the necessary background for conducting further investigations.

With reference to the investigations probed by the committee, one of the main points that the committee highlighted was the reason as to why the bus took so much time to travel the approximately 1 Km distance between the Kalutara prison and the place where the murder took place. Moreover specifically, what is more important is that the normal time duration to travel from the prison to the specific place is not more than one hour. Thus, the bus carrying Samayan took more than an hour to reach the place which is obviously an issue since it does not take more than fifteen minutes to reach the place usually. Therefore, the committee has recommended giving priority in investigating the reasons for the delay as it is suspicious.  Nevertheless, the kind of attention and alertness that the prison officials could have taken more seriously was quite evident of the fact that Swaminathan has been a regular target of a particular mob since this was not the only attempt to kill him.

The next prominent factor, that the committee recommends as crucial to probe into is the reason as to why Samayan was not handcuffed by the time of the murder. It is a well known fact that every prisoner has to be handcuffed when they travel outside and the fact that Samayan was not handcuffed is suspicious.

The fact that the prisoners have been wearing jewellery by the time the murder happened also remains an issue since usually no prisoner is allowed to wear jewellery neither inside the prison nor outside it.

Another important point that the committee wants to highlight is that a special court system or a domestic court system should be established in the prisons to determine the cases of high profile characters. This has also been proposed so that dangerous criminals need not be transported far away from prison. Thus, the security that the high profile prisoners like Samayan need when transporting has not been told to the police by the prison officials even though they have the right to inform the police to ensure high security for the hard core prisoners.

The committee also pointed out reasons as to why, on that particular day, a few officials had gone on leave without prior notice, which needs to be investigated. At the same time, those who had gone on maternity leave were marked as those who had not given notice.

Apart from the issues that have been pointed out so far, one of the major issues that we were informed, was the use of mobile phones amongst prisoners, even though the use of mobile phones has been prohibited inside prison premises according to the prison rules. Thus, we have been informed that Samayan’s wife has not visited him during visitor hours but  they have been in constant touch through the regular phone calls they made to each other.

When questioned on the use of illegal mobile phones violating the prison rules and the steps that have been taken to mitigate the situation by The Sunday Leader, the minister stressed that they have set up all the necessities for circulating a special network system to curb illegal phone calls.

Udaya Shantha Pathirana alias Ranale Samayan was shot dead at Ethanamadala, Jawatte road in Kalutara. Being a hard core gangster, Samayan has been a constant target to kill. The first attempt was the shooting took place at Kaduwela Courts premises on September 23rd in the year 2015 in which he was lucky enough to escape gunshots aimed at him.

Ranale Samayan once was responsible for a murder which he undertook on a contract basis for 5 lakhs and was caught and taken into custody by the police to be later released. However though he managed to get his freedom, he then turned into an underworld gangster as a hired killer and indulged in looting too. After entering into marriage and becoming a father of a child, he however cared less for neither the parents nor the child and went on to form a group of his own thus exerting his powers bringing everyone under his arms and frightening everybody in the area which he believed was the way to live. It is understood that the number of people he killed in the process was close upon 20. These murders had been committed either by him or by his accomplices.

It was revealed who supplied weapons and uniforms that were used to carry out the shooting of Samayan and six others. The chief suspect of the case ‘Battaramulla Bunti’ has revealed the information during police questioning. He confessed that Angoda Lokka, who planned the shooting, wanted to abduct Samayan and torture him.

Bunti also said that as Samayan was badly injured during the shooting, Angoda Lokka dragged him across the bus and shot him on the head near the bus door.

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