Lokka case: CB-CID gets 3 days custody of accused

The Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Coimbatore on Wednesday granted the CB-CID three days custody of three persons — a Sri Lankan woman Amani Thanji, advocate D. Sivakamasundari of Madurai and her friend S. Dyaneswaran, a native of Erode, who was residing in Tiruppur — were arrested in connection with the death of a man, suspected to be Sri Lankan gangster Angoda Lokka, in July here.

At the hearing, the CB-CID made an oral submission before P. Srikumar, principal subordinate judge in-charge of CJM, seeking 10 days custody of the trio, stating that they wanted investigations to be carried out in Tiruppur, Erode and Madurai.

Two counsels who appeared for the accused contested that the CB-CID had completed a major part of the investigation, and the trio had given their confession statements at the time of arrest.

They argued that CB-CID had also collected details from hospitals, banks and officials who are witnessed witnesses in the case. As the accused are in judicial remand, possibility of them trying to influence witnesses or tamper evidences was remote, they submitted.

The counsel appearing for the first accused, Sivakamasundari, submitted that she had health issues which may get worse due to travelling.

Thanji and her counsel submitted before the court that third parties took her photos and videos during questioning. The judge ordered that provisions of Identification of Prisoners Act should be followed during such procedures.

The two counsels also submitted before the court that custody of the accused may be avoided considering the risks posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

As the CB-CID might be taking the accused to various locations in the three days, the court ordered that the counsels should be allowed to speak to them over phone every day. The court also ordered that the investigators should not subject the accused to any form of physical or mental torture during custody.

The CB-CID is investigating two cases, one related to the death of a man who lived at Balaji Nagar near Cheran Ma Nagar in Coimbatore in the guise of one Pradeep Singh early this July and another one against the three accused on various charges including furnishing false documents, harbouring offender, criminal conspiracy and forgery of records.

Lokka’s ally shot dead

Meera Srinivasan, our Colombo correspondent reports:

An ally of Lokka was shot dead by the Sri Lankan police on Tuesday night near Colombo, local media reported.

Police spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne said the police shot the man after he tried “hurling a grenade at them”. “He was known to have worked for Lokka,” Mr. Senaratne told The Hindu.

The police have maintained they are waiting for a legal confirmation of Lokka’s recent death reported in India. “We have sent finger prints from our end. We have also collected some DNA samples, which we will be sending to Indian investigators,” Mr. Senaratne said.

Sri Lankan gangster Maddumage Lasantha Chandana Perera alias Angoda Lokka, wanted here, has been in news since early August. Coimbatore city police arrested three persons for allegedly producing false documents to help Angoda Lokka, who Indian police said died in Coimbatore and that his body was cremated in Madurai early this July.

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