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The Police are playing the fool using the freedom given by the yahapalana government, Wildlife and Regional Development Minister Sarath Foinseka told Parliament yesterday.

He said this during the debate on the provincial delimitation commission report and pointed out that some senior police officers were acting similar to ‘Bulls in the china shop’.

The minister pointed his finger at STF Chief DIG Lathif and few other police officers. “STF Chief DIG Lathif is a real bull in the china shop because he is harassing innocent youth who are supporting me,” he said.

The minister said one of his supporters in Kelaniya was arrested by the police on false allegations that he had been having narcotic drugs.

“The STF raided my supporter’s house in Kelaniya and started searching saying they got a tip off that he has drugs in his possession. However they failed to recover any from inside the house but had found a packet of cocaine on a river bank some 80 meters away from the house. STF raided the house for the second time some days later saying my supporter was keeping bombs but only found an old grenade inside a gutter. Another supporter of mine has been falsely arrested. This particular supporter is engaged in hiring machinery. He keeps the national identity cards of his customers as a guarantee. However he has been arrested for stealing identity cards,” he said.

The minister said STF Chief DIG Lathif is behind all these false arrests. “I took this matter up with the Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara and the latter informed the DIG not to harass innocent people. However DIG Lathif continues harassing them,” he said. “There is no point in shouting saying there is yahapalanaya in this country if we fail to discipline the police."

However, he admitted that some of his supporters have been engaged in crime in the past but had now reformed themselves.

To a question asked by MP Wimal Weerawansa whether he had not informed his leader, the minister said he had spoken to the the Prime Minister about it and he had promised to investigate. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)

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