17 August, 2022

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Hair Dresser Severely Tortured For Failing To Give A Haircut To HQI, Hatton

By Basil Fernando

Basil Fernando

Basil Fernando

Kadireshan Ravishankar, 34 was severely tortured by the HQI and other officers of the Hatton police station merely for failing to provide a haircut immediately on his order a couple of days ago. The case exposes the dangers of not allowing lawyers from representing their clients at police station, an amendment Minister of Justice is championing and had gazetted in the criminal procedure code. The minister wants to prevent lawyers from representing clients at police stations till investigations are over and suspect’s statement is recorded. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, The Asian Human Rights Commission and several other organizations and individuals have opposed the move as it would lead to increase of torture and ill treatment and other abuses of human rights at police stations. However, the minister in a statement to the media has justified the move stating that those who object to this amendment fail to appreciate the difficulties faced by the police engaged in criminal investigations. Obviously, the Minister is attempting to underplay the widespread use of torture and ill treatment.

On the other hand, the Minister for Law and Order in responding to criticism relating to a man’s death at Pussellawa Police Station, stated in parliament that CCTV cameras will be installed in every cell in police stations as a measure to discourage the use of torture and ill treatment. Obviously, there is a big conflict in the manner minister of justice has viewed the problem of police torture as against minister for law and order. As for the government as a whole, it proclaims at international forums that it is taking serious steps for prevention of torture and ill treatment. The Minister for Foreign affairs has on one occasion informed the UN Human Rights Council that detailed instructions will be given to the police and the military to avoid the use of torture and ill treatment and those who violate this rule will be dealt with according to the law.

Kadireshan Ravishankar

Kadireshan Ravishankar

Kadireshan Ravishankar is a hairdresser, working in his brother Mr. Kadireshan Simson’s saloon named ‘CS Saloon’, C1, Bus Stand, Hatton. Ravishankar is married and has four children, three of them are schooling.

On 23rd September 2016, around 7.15 pm, a driver attached to the Hatton Police Station came to the Saloon and asked Ravishankar to come to the Police Station to give a haircut to the Head Quarters Inspector, Mr. Dayal Deegahawathura.

His brother was not at the saloon at that time and also a few other customers were waiting for haircuts. So Ravishankar told the police driver that he would come to the Police Station after handing over the saloon to his brother. The driver went back to the Police Station. Around 7.25 pm, the driver returned with three Police Officers including two sub Inspectors and one constable started threatening Ravishankar. (Ravishankar was able to catch this violent behavior in a video footage using his mobile phone). These Police Officers forced Ravishankar to come with them to the Police Station at once. Ravishankar went with them requesting two customers who were at the saloon at the time, to wait until his brother returns.

When they arrived at the Police Station, Ravishankar was taken into the office of the Head Quarters Inspector (HQI). The HQI asked him whether he was the one who refused to come to the Police Station to give him a haircut? Then the HQI started shouting at Ravishankar in filthy language, threatening him that he should come to the Police Station whenever he is called upon to give him a haircut.

After that HQI started assaulting him asking for reasons why he did not respond to his call. Ravishanker was hit on the back by the HQI four or five times using his elbow and he was punched on the face in the presence of the four Police officers. Ravishankar was then kicked by the HQI several times with boots and he was severely tortured. All this while HQI kep asking why he did not come, when he was called ?

Then he was asked about his employer and Ravishankar was ordered to call him. When Ravishankar called his brother (the owner of the Saloon), as his phone call was cut short due to the low credit balance, he was asked to use the phone of one of the police officers who were present at the room. Ravishankar made a call from a Sub Inspector’s phone whom he identified as Pradeep. With that Phone call he was able to inform his brother that he was at the Police Station and he was tortured.

After severe Torture for some time, Ravishankar was asked to leave the police station with his equipment. Then Ravishankar ran back to the saloon which is situated about half a kilometer away.
By the time Ravishankar returned to the saloon, he has started feeling difficulty in breathing and vomited. His younger brother and two other people were there at the time when Ravishankar returned to the saloon.

Having heard about the incident a large crowd gathered around the saloon. Ravishankar was immediately admitted to the Dikoya Base hospital. Around 9.30 p.m an ASP came with few other police officers to the Hospital and forced Ravishanker to get discharged from the hospital. He forcibly took him to a nurse who gave him a form of request for his discharge from the hospital. After reading the form, Ravishanker refused to fill it.

The police also approached his brother, Mr.Simson when he was going to see Ravishanker in the hospital and forced him to get his brother Ravishankar discharged. However, Ravishankar has refused to get discharged. Then once again on the same night Ravishankar was approached by two Sub Inspectors who threatened him previously at the saloon and in the HQI office. They further warned him to get discharged from the hospital. Ravishanka however refused to get discharged again.

On the following morning, on 24th of September 2016 Ravishankar gave a statement to the hospital Police and stated about the torture which was inflicted upon him by the HQI. In the evening of the same day ASP from Nuwara Eliya has come to the hospital and taken a statement from him.

On 25th September 2016 two Sub Inspectors from the Hatton police station approached Ravishankar and asked him to inform about the two customers who were there at the saloon when Ravishankar returned after getting assaulted by the police. However, Ravishanker did not follow the instruction as he was afraid that police officers would threaten the witnesses.

On 26th September 2016, Ravishanker was discharged from the Dikoya Base hospital, although he has yet not fully recovered.

Ravishankar feels that his fundamental rights were denied and he was Tortured & threatened.

A public protest was held in Hatton town on the following day of the incident, in protest against the Hatton Police, requesting the IGP to act. In response to the protest, the HQI was transferred to Nuwara Eliya.

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Latest comments

  • 31
    0

    this IGP keeps on transferring the rascals without interdicting them and charging and putting them in remand.The choice of IGP is very poor indeed and he should be removed.He is not evn respecting the minister in charge from what i hear sagala ratnayake.Sagala has no personality and nobody will respect him.You need a guy who has a good personality to deal with the police and fonseka is the ideal manto put in charge of them.There will be no crime in this country after that because he will put the correct people in charge based on merit,not seniority.He is being wasted in some crappy ministry of regional development for which taxpayers have to fork out half a billion rupees.It si a kick upstairs.

    • 25
      0

      Why are police officers never charged or suspended for criminal acts. They are only transferred to another station to carry on their activities.
      And why only the HQI? What about the other officers who were present there?

    • 9
      0

      The H Q I is a Ranaviru according to Mahinda Chinthanaya a Ranaviru cannot be dismissed from services he can only be transferred temporarily to another station and also Ravishankar is from a Minority Estate Tamil community no action will be taken against the HQI.

    • 8
      0

      It’s said `TO CATCH A THIEF SET A THIEF`
      Most police have seen the movie-
      To Catch a Thief
      (1955 romantic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock novel;1952)
      Now to bell all those `smart arsed.
      ` Get THE PINK PANTHERS`
      Pink Panthers are never violent, adding: ‘I am a thief, but a gentleman.
      We always made clear plans.But ruthless criminals act like ‘Samurai’, only stealing ‘stuff that is insured’
      ‘The Pink Panthers they got balls and they show it over and over. They don’t hurt anyone. It’s not lucrative for them to hurt anyone.
      Born out of the bloody Balkans wars of the 1990s, the gang of ‘gentleman thieves’ have made a reputation as a professional outfit.

  • 11
    9

    Well, the army used to have this problem until the 1990s. They issued a Human Rights booklet to every soldier. That was very effective.

    Sometimes I think its the most simplest of things that can solve problems. In this case, it probably is just lack of awareness.

    The cops who were in charge when someone died in custody was just transferred. There is lack of discipline also because fear of doing wrong is not there.

    So awareness followed by a strong deterrent should work well.

    • 11
      4

      Awareness

      Sinhala hegemony

      Directly after independence the Sinhalese started exercising their control in every sphere of activity. Discrimination in employment, education, development, and state-assisted colonization of the Tamil homelands by Sinhalese became state policy. Discrimination and efforts to change the demography of the Tamil areas continue to this day. The Sinhalese population in the Eastern Province, an important part of the Tamil homeland, a little over 4 % in 1924, is currently estimated to be over 30% and growing due to the latest maneuvers. Tamils make up 12% of the island’s population, but hold only 5% of government jobs.

      Tamils tried to get redress after independence by democratic and parliamentary methods, as well as by Gandhian satyagraha [non-violent protest].

      Over the years Tamils have regularly been the victims of pogroms by Sinhalese hoodlums either aided by, or watched in silence by the armed forces, who are 99% Sinhalese and the police who are 95% Sinhalese.

      Tamils first tried to live together in a unitary form of government with the Sinhalese community. When the Federal Party stood for elections in 1952, Tamils overwhelmingly voted for the Tamil Congress which supported a unitary state.

      After much discrimination and oppression, Tamils voted overwhelmingly for the Federal Party in 1956. Two parliamentarians who stood for separation in that election were soundly beaten. At that time, therefore, Tamils preferred a Federal form of government to separation.

      In 1956 a bill to make Sinhalese the only official language of the country was passed in parliament over Tamil protests. This was followed by island wide pogroms against Tamils in 1956 and 1958. The Prime Minister described the permanent posting of the armed forces in the North East after 1960 as an ‘army of occupation.’ The national flag was chosen with a prominent Sinhala lion and the national anthem is in Sinhalese.

      Two pacts to provide autonomy to the Tamil areas, signed between the Tamil
      Federal Party and the Sinhala party in power at that time, were abrogated unilaterally by the respective governments following protests by the Sinhala party in opposition in 1957 and 1965.

      In 1972 a new constitution was enacted without Tamil participation. The new constitution made the country a Republic, made Buddhism the foremost religion and eliminated the Senate, appeals to the Privy Council, and Section 29 which had given some protection to minorities.

      Due to their inability to obtain any redress, and continued discrimination and numerous anti-Tamil pogroms, in 1976 all Tamil parties joined together and passed a resolution asking their Parliamentarians to seek the formation of a separate Tamil state in the Homelands of the earlier Tamil Kingdoms. This was the Tamil people’s mandate to their representatives.

      At the next elections in 1977, and ever since then, this mandate has not been changed.

      The Government enacted a new Constitution in 1978 creating an all-powerful executive president. Again the Tamil representatives did not participate in the constitution’s drafting. President Jayawardena said that under this constitution he had the power to do anything except change a man into a woman. The UK’s
      Daily Telegraph quoted Pres. Jayawardene as having said “I do not care what the Tamils think, but my Sinhalese people will be happy.” He also introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Act, described by International Jurist Paul Seigart as the worst act of its kind in the world, including apartheid South Africa

      • 1
        4

        Anpu
        This treatment is not race based it is money based!
        and who you know ib the hierachy.

    • 10
      3

      “Well, the army used to have this problem until the 1990s. They issued a Human Rights booklet to every soldier. That was very effective.”

      Is this the joke of the decade? Is this guy on something?

    • 1
      5

      Why there is no photo of the tortured man ?

      CT would have uploaded one whole profile if photos were available.

      It looks Basil Fernando is cheating the public.

  • 20
    0

    Tamil lives are easily dispensable and no questions asked.

    In the murder case of Lasantha Wickrematunge an army intelligence officer, Piyawansa, used one Jesudasan

    ” Piyawansa is alleged to have purchased the SIMs under the name of Pitchai Jesudasan whose ID card was stolen by Piyawansa. Jesudasan reportedly died in remand custody under natural causes during the tenure of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidency”

    In this case a poor barber, Ravishanker, was tortured by police for carrrying our his duty to his customers.

    Many innocent Tamils were shot and killed in north and east because they either happened to have fallen out with police or army informers or suspected of being non-corporative with the army.

  • 21
    3

    This country is a joke! This current administration is even a bigger joke! The problem is no one is laughing and Mother Lanka is getting shafted in all of her orifices!

    • 1
      0

      Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan;

      It is going to be an even bigger problem to change the Mindset of a People, who have got used to this Kind of Impunity and Indiscipline during Thirty years of the Last Government

  • 17
    2

    Basil Fernando

    RE: Hair Dresser Severely Tortured For Failing To Give A Haircut To HQI, Hatton

    That is why the police wants the The Wijeyadasa Amendment.

    Law Enforcement Vs. Human Rights & The Wijeyadasa Amendment

    This way, after torture, killing, then they can dispose of the body
    A license to kill and torture citizens.

    Is this Yahapalanaya in the Land of Para- Modayas?

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/law-enforcement-vs-human-rights-the-wijeyadasa-amendment/

  • 22
    0

    ‘In response to the protest, the HQI was transferred to Nuwara Eliya.’

    where his hair continues to grow and the local barbers are looking for other occupations.

    • 4
      1

      in nuwara eliya somebody should give him a tip cut instead of haircut.

  • 8
    0

    hmmmmmm perhaps the way of life of the guardians of the law?

    Over to IGP Pujith Jayasundara to take stern action and over to Ranil the PM not to shape this also up like he always protects Mahinda mama and his family!

  • 10
    0

    Pujitha Jayasundera is proving himself incapable as IGP with each passing day.The thing with the man is that he behaving with the mindset of a politician while been a cop.The two don’t mix at all.Pujitha should realize this sooner than later.Unfortunately for the clueless man no amount of going to the Gangaramaya temple at 3am in the morning is going to sort things out.

  • 7
    0

    “However, the minister in a statement to the media has justified the move stating that those who object to this amendment fail to appreciate the difficulties faced by the police engaged in criminal investigations. Obviously, the Minister is attempting to underplay the widespread use of torture and ill treatment”

    Wijedasa is another stooge of a man alleged to have maintained a torture chamber in Sri Lanka. He seems to be carrying out instructions on creating a Police State.

    However, even lawyers are given a opportunity to represent clients in the police stations, what is the use, when the entire judiciary system is corrupt.

  • 10
    1

    This is one more instance the country continues to be a Police State – particularly for the Tamils. The Policemen involved here know are convinced Tamil lives do not matter. They
    believe Tamils will either keep quiet enduring what is inflicted on them and at most lodge a Police complaint – that will not be acted upon.

    Yahapaalanaya, my left foot!!!! Will the great Arumugam T take action???

    Kettikaran

    • 2
      4

      Any thing happened is the govt fault.

      Why did not you ask for the political solution ?

    • 2
      4

      Any thing happened is the govt fault.

      Why did not you ask for the political solution ?

      IF he is sevefaly tortured, where is the photo.

      I think SEVERALY TORTURED is ct making it sensational.

  • 7
    1

    Everything is so rotten, where do we start cleaning up?

    This is not going to be a profound comment; so many sickening things I was dealing with, and then I saw this, and I thought, “Bless Basil Fernando for ferreting these stories out”, and what a fool I was to have once voted for Wijedasa Rajapaksha because somebody said that he was a “gentleman”.

    We may have a gut reaction against lawyers and courts, but it is necessary for them to be hovering in the background if we are to be protected from these thugs.

    • 1
      0

      ‘Everything is so rotten, where do we start cleaning up?’

      It has to start at the top because that’s where power lies. But it never will.

  • 7
    0

    If this trends continue there will be hit and run techniques against all the policemen, a form of taking revenge. What the JVP did in 1989 will resurface again.

  • 0
    0

    Thambi Kadir Ravi the hair dresser your case is not bad sad and sorry that you have injured.good thing you haven’t fabricated as LTTE.

    You fail to understand the ground realities in the media it’s all good and order.

    Now if you wants to safeguard your colleagues in the next town tell them if it’s hair cut or shaving the balls off what they should do.without having injuries.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

    • 1
      0

      Thondamannay,

      CT will not publish anything that upset the delicate sensitivity of Basil regardless of the accuracy of the statement.

      • 0
        0

        [Edited out]

  • 1
    0

    Shame on these criminals who wear a uniform and abuse innocent human beings,

    The only option is god, so they will get strokes and paralyze neck down!

  • 1
    0

    This police bugger must be hanged in public if the incident reported is true.

  • 3
    0

    This type of criminal activities by law enforcement officials themselves should be condemned by the civilized society .i hope the higher police administration will find the justice for this man and restore the public confidence on the police service .

  • 2
    0

    The current SL police is a remnant of the colonial past. British used police as a tool to suppress natives to consolidate their rule. This was often done by use of brute force and the police had the full backing of the white masters. Though the current police is managed by the natives, they have not changed their attitude towards general public.

    What is needed today is a complete change of attitude of police when they deal with the public they are supposed to protect. I think the current leadership of SL police is not capable achieving this goal.

    • 1
      1

      Aravinda:

      Correct. The police need to be more given training. The perpetrators behind the incident (if it’s true) need to be brought before the Courts. However, this incident has nothing to do with Tamil Eelam, Rajapakse, etc. like some are implying. This hairdresser got a beating, LTTE would have hung him from a lamppost.

  • 0
    0

    Police have been corrupted by politicians of the ruling parties of successive governments almost since independence, by making use of them to foster injustice on the citizens, to ‘persuade’ the latter to vote for them, & ignore their unlawful activities in return for ‘favours’ of ‘unjust’ promotions etc.
    The police have thus got used to treating citizens as ‘subservient humans’ in socio-political situations.
    It is difficult to eradicate this mindset of the police.

    Now the minister has enhanced this mindset, by the latest outrage against citizens, of/by compelling them by law into making statements in police stations – in that hostile environment – on allegations with which they are confronted, mostly, to their surprise and consternation.

    This mindset of the police is evident in this case of ordering a barber to come to the police station to give a haircut to the HQI, and subsequent assaults.

    Transfer of the HQI merely encourages him to behave in similar manner, in a new location.
    He should have been interdicted, a charge-sheet served on him after investigation by neutral third persons, to establish a prima-facie case.

    In many western countries, there are groups of learned citizens appointed to inquire into allegations against law enforcement officers.
    They inquire and submit findings to relevant minister, who acts on the advice of the attorney general.

    • 0
      0

      justice,

      “Transfer of the HQI merely encourages him to behave in similar manner, in a new location. He should have been interdicted, a charge-sheet served on him after investigation by neutral third persons, to establish a prima-facie case.”

      I assume that there is an investigation not only a transfer. Before charges there must be an investigation.

      “In many western countries, there are groups of learned citizens appointed to inquire into allegations against law enforcement officers.”

      Heard of National Police Comission in Sri Lanka?

  • 2
    0

    These dirty cops should be charged in the court of law and jailed.

    If not, YOU can be next using your own tax money.

  • 1
    0

    Kadir Ravi it’s very sad sorry for the state of affairs.you were lucky they didn’t frame you as LTTE.or would have hanged you in the cell make it as suicide.

    These are the angels of the officers to protect the public.you should have gone straight away to cut the hair or shaved off the b….s.

    Convince your colleagues in next town what they should do if called out.

    These thugs are in khaki ,yellow robes ,in theparliament,even a Dr brother of a minister…how far the thuggish behaviour mix in the blood.how do we progress.

    Where do we start from.where are the Morales,where to lead the future generations.

    Sad and sickening.

  • 0
    0

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/police-shootings-in-america-law-policy-and-accountability/5549602

    HUman rights Mudalalis upload crap articles without photos. I don’t the man to be tortured.

    Read the above article to see how people are shot at.

    From amongst themselves, the People of the United States have empowered some of their members to enforce their laws and to police their society, but things have gone terribly awry. The police are killing those they are sworn to protect and they themselves are becoming the target of public anger over racial inequality and discrimination. Video images of recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota were followed by the mass murder of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, apparently in response to these shootings

    The killing of an unarmed mentally-disturbed man last week by El Cajon, California police officers—and resulting civil disturbances—once again raises the question of the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. The question involves complicated issues of law and policy, but the decision to shoot must often be made in a nanosecond. With the widespread availability of video cameras, instant playback, and social media, however, the justification for the use of deadly force is being increasingly scrutinized, and the quality of law enforcement policy, training, and discretion is frequently found wanting.

    The reasonableness of a police shooting decision is determined by what was known to the officer at the moment of the shooting, and whether that decision complied with policy and law. The decision to pull the trigger is made by an individual officer, but the responsibility for its consequences is shared by the policing agency. Based on experience, professional standards, statutory and constitutional law, and public expectations, police policy and training seeks to minimize the risk of harm to the public while ensuring the right of self defense. There are no easy answers, but it is essential that police administrators learn from these encounters and formulate more effective policy and training to guide their officers and to hold them accountable.

    Background. My 45-year career in the justice system began in 1962 when I became a police officer in El Cajon. The new chief of police (who was later elected sheriff of San Diego County) was intent on improving the level of professionalism in the department. Proud to be a part of the “New Breed,” I achieved top honors in the San Diego Police Academy and quickly became president of the Police Officer’s Association and later president of the San Diego County organization representing all of its law enforcement officers. Although El Cajon was a quiet suburb, police work was not without its risk. One of my supervisors, Sergeant Fred Wilson— the only El Cajon police officer ever killed in the line of duty—later died of head injuries he sustained breaking up a fight.

    Transferring to the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968, I again achieved top honors in the Police Academy and was assigned to South Central LA upon graduation, where policing was more dangerous. My partner and I were once dispatched to a “man with a gun” call from only a block away, and as we turned the corner, we saw the man directly in front of us in the street. He was holding a woman by her hair in one hand and a gun in the other. He shot her in the abdomen, looked up, saw us, and began to run between the houses. I drew my revolver and chased after him. He jumped up on a wall and threw his weapon to the other side, but drew another handgun from his waistband as he came back down. Crouched in a firing stance, I yelled at him to drop the second gun and he did. We arrested him, and his girlfriend was transported to the hospital. Later, my tactics were criticized for not having shot the man. In cop terms, it would have been a “good,” or justifiable, shooting, but in my mind he was just trying to get rid of his guns, and I had no cause to shoot him.

    I was fortunate that day, but two of my friends were not so lucky. Jerry Maddox, with whom I had carpooled to the Police Academy, was shot to death in 1969 by a gang member in East LA, and Jack Coler was one of the FBI agents ambushed and murdered at Wounded Knee in 1975.

  • 2
    0

    I’m just horrified to learn of this poor man’s treatment and I hope someone steps forward to help him take a fundamental rights case with some financial help from somewhere as he would have to come to Colombo I suppose. How brave he has been in refusing to give into the police demands to quit the hospital.

  • 0
    0

    The rainbow revolution was the result of trampling the rights of people. But what is happening now? Why can’t a preliminary investigation be done, a real quick one,in terms of the administrative procedures and promptly interdict the fellows.

    Above all, these rascals should have been produced in court and remanded. We know an incident took place in Embilipitiya and it took ages to take action against the errant police personnel.

    For a considerable period of time in this country, the police are a law unto themselves.

  • 1
    0

    His union was protesting for this in CV’s rally. That is why many pundits are so mad about CV’s rally. They are so worried army- police’s brutalities are coming out.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Death for other terrorists and only transfers for police terrorists. Only in civilised countries do they allow lawyer representation in police stations and Sri Lanka is only an “ancient” civilization.

  • 2
    0

    Where are the equivalents of the American Civil Liberties Union in Sri Lanka?

    The majority people in Sri Lanka should go
    beyond mere words and come up with groups that can take aggressive legal action on a pro bono basis to protect victims like this. It is such actions that can contribute to reconciliation.

  • 1
    0

    Basil,

    “The case exposes the dangers of not allowing lawyers from representing their clients at police station”

    What do you mean? The barber went there to work. Why would he have gone there with a lawyer?

  • 1
    0

    Hello Basil of AHRC……….. Lets give this hatton case a Rest.

    Lets move onto the attack on FLIT Night Club by Daham Koluwa and PSD gang. This is a serial incident.
    Have you the guts to take on & write your big articles on this.

    Basil Fernando and the Barber sans a lawyer at the Police station.
    haircut was not possible. Where was the lawyer?

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