Police cannot open fire at civilians – Lawyer

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Police cannot open fire at civilians like ‘mad dogs’ even if distressed civilians behave in an unruly manner, Attorney-at-Law Upul Kumarapperuma said.

He was commenting on the recent Police shooting at Rambukkana. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who were blocking the level crossing, killing an individual and critically injuring several others. 

Kumarapperuma emphasised that the Police are trained to control riots step by step and shooting a mob at once is certainly not one of those. 

He highlighted that the Police have other means of controlling the crowd, such as using rubber bullets. 

“Police cannot shoot with live bullets at once.” 

He said, the President, the Government, the Minister and the Police should take responsibility for the attack and its repercussions. 

Kumarapperuma further said, several organisations such as the BASL have repeatedly advised that protesters should be handled cautiously. 

“After giving a weapon to the Police, they cannot behave like mad dogs,” he said. 

Kumarapperuma emphasised that after all, the people are protesting against the Government because of the President’s course of action regarding the country’s economic stability.