On the National Independence Day, seven students were assaulted in front of Tamil lawmakers and the public for staging a peaceful black flag demonstration and were released after a five-hour ordeal.
The very next day on Monday (5), another student was waylaid by the Police and brutally attacked who subsequently complained to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL).
Karunakaran Nitharsan alleges he was rounded up and brutally assaulted by the Police when he was on his way to a petrol station from his campus to fill petrol for his two-wheeler. On his way back he was asked to stop by the police and questioned and picked up an argument with him he says.
Despite providing the necessary documents and the driver's license he says the police officer detained him and called for additional personnel. Once about six to seven of them arrived without uniform they started beating Nitharsan severely.
According to him, he was hung upside down and attacked by the police, and said people were witnessing it even though he was screaming, unable to bear the pain.
“The shopkeeper knows it, there is a camera also in front. Then they dragged me. I told them, "this is a traffic issue, I have given you the license, if you issue a receipt then there won’t be a problem, there won’t be a problem of there is a fine and asked why are doing like this to me.” Nitharsan said on video following his complaint to the HRCSL’s Jaffna office.
He was taken to the crime branch office at the Vaddukoddai police station and tortured again in a room, he alleges.
“The assault continued further after I refused to unlock both my phones saying it was personal. I had an earlier video recorded when they beat me. I was pushed into a cell where three other people were. They advised me to unlock my phones which I didn’t.”
Since he started panting and felt breathless, the police left him and went away, he said. Due to severe beating, he suffered cramps in his legs, unable to walk freely. His mother too hearing the incident arrived at the scene.
Nitharsan subsequently ran limping for safety and reached the Jaffna office of the Human Rights Commission and made a complaint to them.
“When they were beating me it reminded me of Alex who died due to the beating by the Vaddukoddai police,” said Nitharsan.
25 years old Nagarasa Alex was murdered in Vaddukoddai police custody three months ago.
The post mortem confirmed that the young Tamil had multiple injuries when his dead body was brought to the Jaffna teaching hospital.