Court orders 4 TV channels to hand over UNP protest video footage

Saturday, 25 February 2012 01:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda

The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court ordered the news directors of four television channels that the video footage of the UNP led protest held in front of the Fort railway station be handed over to the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) in order to trace persons who behaved in an unruly manner.

Filing a B report in Court, the CCD informed Court that police were conducting investigations to arrest the persons who behaved in an unruly manner at the protest held on 17 February, by inflicting injuries to 14 police officers including Senior DIG Anura Senanayake and Asoka Wijetilleke.

The CCD further complained Court that the angry protestors had torn and burnt a huge hoarding that featured the President’s image.

The Police moved Court that an order be issued on news directors of Sirasa Media Network, Independent Television Network, Derana TV and Swarnavahini to hand over the video footage (edited and unedited) of the protest to the CCD in order to trace the persons who were involved in the incident.   

Police further alleged that angry protesters had caused damages to a traffic light tower and several other private properties.

Police further informed Court that they fired water cannon and tear gas at the protestors since they tried to march towards Colombo Hilton and high security zone.  

The CCD told court that the angry protesters behaved in an aggressive manner by hurling stones at police.

 The CCD further informed Court the investigations conducted so far had revealed that Kalutara district parliamentarian Palitha Thewarapperuma and Budulla district parliamentarian Harin Fernando were involved in leading the protest and statements to be recorded from them.  

Finally, the CCD sought a Court order to obtain video footage from the Sirasa Media Network, Independent Television Network, Derana TV and Swarnavahini citing they had to carry out investigations into the incident and trace the suspects who were involved in the incident.

The CCD further submitted that relevant provisions were available in section 124 of Criminal Procedure Code by issuing an appropriate order.

After considering the submissions, Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne ordered the New Director of four television channels to hand over the concerned video footage to the Colombo Crimes Division.