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Maligawatte fatal stampede: Police were aware of the event taking place – Counsel

ECONOMYNEXT – The businessman and seven others who allegedly were involved in the distribution of cash gifts prior to Ramadan where three women were killed in a stampede have been remanded until June 4.

Police have filed charges against the eight accused stating that the event that took place on Jumma Masjid Road in Maligawatte did not have permission from the authorities.

When the case came up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Kanchana Neranji de Silva, yesterday May 28, Counsel for the accused President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne said that the Police were aware of the event.

He produced photographic evidence gleaned from CCTV cameras that police officers came to the location at 10:55 and several other times thereafter.

Therefore the charge against these persons of conducting an illegal assembly cannot be levied, Counsel Premaratne argued.

He said the police have presented false evidence to the court and covered up the truth from the Media.

The Magistrate remanded the accused and said she would rule on bail on the next court date.

The accused are millionaire businessman Mohamed Zarook Mohamed Imthiaz, his son Imthiaz Mohd Nasir and five others.

According to reports hundreds of people had gathered outside the premises of the businessman’s storage facility in Maligawatte to receive cash gifts of Rs 2,000. They had been in an orderly queue until the gates of the compound had been opened and everybody rushed in causing the stampede. (Colombo, May 29, 2020)