Community Police Did Not Get as Much Info as Expected – Fmr IGP
By Buddhika Samaraweera
Former IGP Pujith Jayasundara said, although there were about 14,200 Community Police units established with the aim of obtaining information on various crimes and suspicious individuals at village level, the Police did not receive as much as had been expected.
He was testifying, on 15 October, before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings.
The Chairman of the Commission then questioned Jayasundara on the number of meetings held to discuss Islamist extremism, in the same manner, Jayasundara had convened senior Police officers to discuss drug raids on the instructions of the then President. When Jayasundara replied that he could not recall the number of meetings, the Commission Members questioned whether not a single meeting had been held to discuss Islamist extremism. Jayasundara, in reply, said: "I do not accept that. At that time, we had set up Community Police units and assigned officers to look into four matters. The main thing out of them was to ensure national security. We discussed the information received at the Grama Niladhari level."
The Commission queried whether there was a need to setup Community Police units to obtain information as the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had provided clear information on Islamist extremism.
In reply, Jayasundara acknowledged that some priority had been given to seeking information relevant to former President Maithripala Sirisena's drug eradication programme.
He also said, the Community Police units operating in the Kattankudy area had not received any information about the activities of the National Thowheed Jama’ath Leader Zaharan Hashim.
The Commission decided to adjourn the hearing of Jayasundara’s testimony since Jayasundara suddenly took ill while giving evidence.