May 31, Colombo: A deputy minister of the Sri Lankan government has denied that an assault on a police officer assigned to Southern Expressway duties was connected to the fine his driver received for speeding on the highway.
Deputy Minister of Consumer and Internal Trade Hemal Gunasekara speaking to the private radio station Hiru FM admitted that two weeks ago his driver received a fine of Rs. 1,000 for speeding on the highway with the minister in the vehicle and he paid the fine.
However the Deputy Minister stressed that incident has nothing to do with the assault on the officer, who gave the ticket at the Kottawa Exchange when his vehicle was exiting the highway.
Suminda Saman, a 34-year-old police officer assigned to duties at the Kottawa Exchange of the Southern Expressway was followed by four men in a cab and assaulted near a rubber plantation in Dodamgoda area of Kalutara Friday night when the officer was driving for work. The assailants have also set fire to the officer's vehicle and fled.
The injured officer, who is receiving treatment at the Nagoda Hospital in Kalutara, told media the Minister was abusive when he gave the ticket to his driver and now he believes yesterday's attack on him is connected to the incident. He said now he fears for his life.
The Police Media Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said the police have deployed three teams to investigate the incident and to ascertain whether there is any connection between the fine the officer imposed on the deputy minister's driver and yesterday's assault on him.