The SAITM controversy took on a new twist today, with Police accusing SAITM CEO Dr. Sameera Senaratne for staging a shooting, and the police launching a man hunt to apprehend two of Senaratne’s close associates for helping him stage the shooting.
In early February, Senaratne was shot at when he was leaving the institute, but he was left unhurt. Today, the police announced that the incident was in fact staged. The police came to this conclusion after arresting a suspect from Embilipitiya who was involved in the incident.
According to the police, the shooting was staged to depict that the life of the SAITM CEO was in danger, in the midst of increasing protests against the institute, by university students and the Government Medical Officials Association (GMOA).
Senaratne, together with a close friend of his, who is a Pradeshiya Saba member, and a driver had staged the shooting. Both the driver and the Pradeshiya Sabha member is currently in hiding.
The suspect arrested from Embilipitiya has been remanded by the Kaduwela Magistrate till March 13. At the time the suspect was arrested, he had with him a 3.8 revolver which is believed to be the weapon used in the shooting.
South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) has been rigged in controversy, apart from groups protesting against the standards of the education offered at the medical institute, several body parts, believed to be of murdered ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen, which had gone missing was also recovered from SAITM last year.
In early February, two men travelling on a motor bike wearing full-face helmets opened fire at Senaratne’s car who was at the wheel at the time of the incident, which occurred near SAITM at Malabe. He did not suffer any injuries despite the attackers shooting at him at close range.