Businessman's brother claims road-death probe manipulated
By Santhush Fernando
Family members of 33-year-old businessman Indika Yatigampitiya, who was killed in an accident involving the back-up jeep of Deputy Health Minister Sajith Premadasa, are calling for an impartial probe on allegations that the inquiry is being manipulated.
Suranga Yatagampitiya, the younger brother of the businessman, claimed that soon after the accident at Rosmead Place-Wijerama Junction some unidentified persons had allegedly manipulated with the brakes of the backup jeep.

He claimed that just after the accident two trucks had blocked the road and some unidentified persons had tried to adjust the brakes, according an eyewitness to the incident.

The accident occurred last Monday around 8 p.m. at Rosemead Place-Wijerama Junction, close to the Bandaranaike residence, when the businessman was driving home after work. He was proceeding towards Borella, while the jeep, bearing registration no. 62-1302, had come from Horton Place Junction. In the impact of the collision, the businessman's car reportedly had spun thrice and crashed onto a wall.

Mr. Yatagampitiya claimed that some in the jeep had not even tried to take his brother to the hospital and it was some three-wheeler drivers who did so.
He said that his brother was admitted at around 8.15 p.m and was pronounced dead by 10.30 p.m.

The victim's brother said the deputy minister's personal secretary had offered assistance but none of them had even turned up for the funeral. The driver of the jeep, 46-year-old Iddirippuge Ranjith Fernando of Minneriya, had been admitted to the Accident Ward of the National Hospital. The Cinnamon Gardens Police said the suspect would be produced before court on November 4.

Mr. Yatagampitiya said that after a very successful career in the travel trade, his brother had established his own travel agency, Aero Worldwide Travels (Pvt) Ltd, just a few days ago. He had two daughters - one four-year-old and the other born just three-weeks before the tragedy.

Cinnamon Gardens' Police denied any manipulation of the probe by anyone.
They said that the suspect had been given police bail and would be produced in court next month. Police said they went to the scene five minutes after the accident and there was no evidence of anyone trying to manipulate the brakes.

But a VIP police personnel who was at the vicinity of the accident claimed that some people had actually tried to alter the brakes, the victim's brother said.
Mr. Premadasa was not available for comment.

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