It is reported that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has launched a special investigation regarding three allegations leveled against Kurunegala District DIG Wasantha Kithsiri Jayalath, who allegedly created a story accusing a Muslim doctor of sterilizing 4,000 Sinhala-Buddhist women.
The charges against him are as follows:
- Exposing sensitive information, which may create ethnic tensions, to media without informing the Acting IGP first.
- Instigating ethnic conflicts intentionally (Charged under the Penal Code).
- Misleading the police (The CID had to allocate a significant amount of resources to investigate accusations levelled against Dr Shafi, amid investigations into the Easter Sunday attacks).
On 23 May, Divaina newspapaer revealed that the aforementioned doctor had allegedly performed sterilization procedures on 4,000 Sinhala-Buddhist mothers during cesarean surgeries. Dr Shafi is further accused of having links with National Thawheed Jamaath, the extremist organization behind the Easter Sunday attacks.
In a statement given to the CID, Divaina Editor Anura Solaman and journalist Hemantha Randunu had stated that the news in question was given to them by Kurunegala District DIG Wasantha Kithsiri Jayalath.
However, when the CID questioned 26 staff members of the Kurunegala Hospital in this regard, they had stated that they didn’t notice anything suspicious.
Certain websites had reported that there was a personal dispute between the doctor in question and the Kurunegala District DIG. It is suspected that the allegations levelled against the doctor are more likely to be based on a personal grudge. The wife of the Kurunegala District DIG also serves as a doctor in the Kurunegala Hospital.
Kurunegala Hospital Director Dr Sarath Weerabandara, who also complained about Dr Shafi, is an active supporter of MP Wimal Weerawansa’s party. Later this controversial news became one of the main talking points of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, also known as, Pohottuwa.
Many accused SLPP of trying to gain political advantages through exaggerating this sensitive matter.
Later it was reported that Dr Shafi is planning to file a Fundamental Rights Petition against arresting him illegally, and detaining without filing charges. Although he was arrested on 24 May, he has not been produced before court.
According to Police Spokesperson, initially investigations were launched into the news items published on Divaina newspaper on 23 May and on Lankadeepa website on 24 May, and later investigations were launched with regard to allegations against Dr Shafi. Investigations are in progress, he added.
Speaking at a press briefing Police Spokesperson stated that the news item published by Divaina newspaper is untrue and an investigation had been launched regarding the news.
So far, Divaina Editor Anura Solaman, journalist Hemantha Randunu, Kurunegala Hospital Director Dr Sarath Weera Bandara and Kurunegala District DIG Wasantha Kithsiri Jayalath have been questioned by the CID.