ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 38

Stunned and beaten up

  • Ananda College student accused of attacking Nalanda College student with stun gun
  • Victim undergoes plastic surgery, principals of both schools to assist police in probe

By Kumudini Hettiarachchi

A 17-year-old is lying on a bed at the National Hospital in Colombo after undergoing plastic surgery. While he can take only liquids, that too a spoonful at a time, his whole face is swollen and any movement seems to cause severe pain. Over his mutilated face and head is drawn a white net, with a knot tied at the top.

This teenager who just last Tuesday went in for his Grade 12 classes at Nalanda College in Maradana, like he did on every school day, left to catch the train back home after school ended, as usual.

“School was over at 1.30 p.m. and my train home to Ja-ela was at 2.20 p.m. I was walking to the Maradana Railway Station with a another schoolboy, past the swimming pool of Ananda College when this happened to me,” he mumbles with difficulty, unable to articulate himself because of the lacerations on his face. The schoolboy is the second son of a high-level Health Ministry official who is currently abroad attending an international meeting.

What transpired next is unimaginable.

“A group of about 20 from Ananda College, some in uniform, with one carrying a club, confronted us and a well-known ruggerite of that school held something to my body. That was the last I knew. Later I woke up on a trolley to find that I was at the Accident Service,” says the teenager from his hospital bed. The victim has suffered soft-tissue damage on the face, possible nasal fractures and damage to his teeth.

The Sunday Times learns that one of the attackers had allegedly placed a “gadget” worn on his hand against the teenager’s chest rendering him unconscious, before dragging him on the ground and assaulting him.

It would most probably have been a stun gun, was the opinion of several senior doctors when The Sunday Times attempted to unravel what this gadget was. An Internet search revealed that a stun gun is a weapon designed to disable a victim temporarily by delivering a non-lethal high-voltage electric shock.

The Officer-in-Charge of the Maradana Police Station, Sumith Nissanka, said a complaint had been lodged with regard to the assault and investigations are being conducted into the incident. “We have taken the statements of several people,” he said adding that no one has been arrested yet.

Explaining that in cases of assault, they would arrest the suspects as soon as possible, he said the suspects in this incident are not attending school at present as they had sat the OLs and are awaiting results.

When asked whether it was considered to be an incident in which the injured teenager had suffered grievous bodily harm, Mr. Nissanka said they were awaiting the report of the Judicial Medical Officer.

Inquiries are being carried out, he said, declining to give details of the complaint.

However, legal sources said if the victim has lost a tooth or even part of a tooth in the assault, the assailants can be charged with grievous bodily harm under the Penal Code.

The Principal of Ananda College, B.A. Abeyrathne, told The Sunday Times that in addition to assisting the police with their inquiries, the school had also initiated an internal inquiry. “We began collecting information on the incident as soon as we heard of it. We have spoken to many parents. However, some of those allegedly involved in the incident are not contactable as they have gone on a trip,” he said.

Nalanda College Principal Hemantha Premathilake, meanwhile, explained that they too were giving all possible assistance to the police and said that as a further step he called two groups of students from both Nalanda and Ananda and spoke to them to defuse the tension that may be sparked off by such an incident.

“The student who was attacked was harmless. We hear that there was some rivalry between two other students, living in Kiribathgoda and Kadawatha, from the two schools. There had also been an incident, in the wake of this rivalry, when two groups from the two schools had gone for the exhibition at the BMICH the previous week,” said Mr. Premathilake adding: “We maintain discipline within the school.”

Condemning thuggery and hooliganism, worried parents are calling for urgent action against the wrongdoers and also a thorough investigation to ascertain whether a stun gun was used and if so how teenagers could have access to such weapons.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.