Four More Killings

Four More Killings

An Army deserter, 32, arrested by police at Hambegamuwa, Moneragala, over the killing of a Buddhist monk at Malwathuhiripitiya, Gampaha, was killed at Urapola, in the Attanagalle electorate, yesterday (12).

Police identified him as Kalhara Dilshan, the person who killed the monk on 23 Jan., as an ex-Army commando. The suspect was handed over to the Peliyagoda police after being taken into custody by the Hambegamuwa police.

Police claimed that they had opened fire as the deserter made an attempt to escape while being taken to recover weapons hidden by him.

CCTV footage revealed that altogether four persons who arrived at the temple asked the monk to come out of the temple before being shot.

Ven. Kalapaluwawe Dhammarathana Thera, 45, who sustained fatal injuries in the shooting, had been rushed to the Gampaha Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Investigators have arrested seven suspects. The T-56 rifle, allegedly used by the assailants, has been recovered.

Sources said that the deserter had accepted the hit job from a party involved in a dispute with the slain monk over a gem.

Meanwhile, four individuals were gunned down on Monday night (11) in separate shooting incidents at Elpitiya and Ambalangoda.

Two assailants, who arrived on a motorcycle, opened fire at the owner of a grocery store in Guruwala, Elpitiya, killing two people. Two others sustained injuries. The shop owner escpated unhurt, according to the police. A T56 assult rifle was reportedly used in this attack.

Another gun attack occurred at a grocery store in Galagoda, Ambalangoda, claiming the lives of two individuals. Three others injured in the attack are currently receiving treatment at Balapitiya hospital. Police said that the assailants had targeted a person working in the shop, and a T56 assault rifle had been used in that incident as well.

As of March 12, 2024, a total of 30 shootings have occurred in the current year. About 17 of them have been attributed to organised criminal gangs, according to police spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa. In those incidents, 21 individuals lost their lives while 13 others sustained injuries.

(the Island )

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