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‘This should not happen again’ – Father of murdered Tamil boy demands justice

The father of a 13-year-old Tamil boy who was reportedly tortured to death after being arrest by Sri Lankan police and sent to a reformatory school, has demanded justice for his killing.

Standing outside the magistrate’s court in Kalmunai, Ananthadevan Darsanth’s father spoke to reporters about his son’s death and the tortured he faced.

“He was questioned about some black coloured object,” he said. Darsanth, was arrested by Sri Lankan police officers for allegedly stealing a bell and lamp from a local temple in the area.

After being detained by the police on 16 November, he was produced before a court and sent to the Kalmunai Reformatory School. However, within just days of being sent to the institution, his family were informed that Darsanth was found dead in his room on 29 November.

A post-mortem report carried out at Amparai Hospital found multiple injuries on the schoolchild’s body.

“He was assaulted on his chest,” said his father Karthigesu Narayanan, adding that instruments such as a broomstick were used to assault his child. “Sometime later he was assaulted by a baton,” he added.

Narayanan said that the torture of his son was witnessed by others.

“The DO said that they don't assault prisoners and buy stuff for them instead, and look after them well,” he continued. “"But there is a difference between what he says and the reality here.”

“So far they haven't visited our home or given any answers. No government official has visited.”

Darsanth's grieving family at his home in Batticaloa this week.

As Darsanth’s funeral rites were conducted at Kokuvil this week, his grief-stricken family carried his coffin to the local Sri Lankan police station. They demanded those responsible for his death be brought to account.

A female supervisor from the reformatory school was reportedly arrested and released on bail until 15 December.

“I expect justice,” said Narayanan. “This should not happen again.”

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