Fmr Arachchikattuwa PS Chairman remanded over Anawilundawa wetland clearing
September 22, 2020 02:33 pm
Former Chairman of Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Jagath Samantha, has surrendered to the court, stated Ada Derana reporter.
He had been issued an arrest warrant over the clearing of land at the Anawilundawa Wildlife Sanctuary.
Following his surrender, the Chilaw Magistrate ordered the suspect to be held under remand custody until September 24.
Jagath Samantha is also the brother of State Minister Sanath Nishantha Perera.
On August 25, it was reported that the mangrove ecosystem in the sanctuary had been illegally cleared using machinery. The area where the illegal deforestation had taken place is approximately 0.697 hectares, according to Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation M.K. Bandula Harischandra.
Subject Minister C.B. Rathnayake later gave instructions to take action in this regard and the wildlife officials had reported the matter to the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court.
Further investigations were subsequently launched with the police to disclose the suspects and the case items.
The backhoe driver was taken into custody by the Arachchikattuwa Police on the 28th of August at his home in Kiriyankalliya, Mundalama.
Based on the information obtained from him, the 35-year-old businessman, who hails from the Udappuwa area, was arrested the following day. The duo was subsequently placed under remand custody.
This 1,397-hectare land was declared as a sanctuary on 11 May 1997 in terms of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.