Cops arrest 17 people in Galnewa

The police arrested 17 people including a woman in Galnewa, Anuradhapura this afternoon following a special operation involving over 150 policemen.

According to the police media unit, the 17 people were arrested for behaving in an unruly manner and also attacking a group of policemen recently over the death of a man in the area.

A man had died in the area after he was attacked by three men during a Sinhala and Tamil Avurudhu (New Year) event.

The police had arrested the three men over the incident and they were later produced in court and jailed.

However following the funeral of the victim last week an unruly mob led by a female relative of the victim attacked a house of one of the suspects and also set a vehicle on fire.

A police team which arrived at the scene was also abused and later attacked by the mob, the police media unit said.

Video footage taken during the mob attack was produced in court to identify those involved in the violence and a court order had been obtained to arrest them.

A three hour special operation was conducted today involving top police officers from Anuradhapura as well as 150 other policemen to arrest the suspects.

Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the public have no right to take the law into their own hands.

He said that only the court can decide on the punishment for anyone and if the public decide to take the law in their hands then the police will take stern action against them.

He also said that CCTV cameras in Colombo and other video footage will be used in future to arrest anyone violating the law. (Colombo Gazette)