Nagarasa Alex, a 25-year-old resident of Sithankerni, Jaffna, has reportedly died due to alleged torture by Sri Lankan police. The incident has sparked outrage, with a video circulating on social media capturing the young man's harrowing account of the brutality he endured.
Alex, who was remanded by order of the Jaffna Mallakam Magistrate Court, passed away on Sunday. He was dead on arrival at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. The video, in which he details the horrific torture inflicted upon him, has gone viral, intensifying demands for justice.
Trigger warning – graphic descriptions of violence.
A post-mortem examination revealed Alex had sustained “multiple injuries”.
The cause of death form issued by the office of the judicial medical officer found that there were “abrasions and contusions” on the “trunk, both upper limbs and both lower limbs”.
Alex was declared dead on Sunday.
According to Alex's relatives, he was called for an investigation by the Vaddukkottai police on Novmeber 8. Fearing for his safety, Alex took a friend along. When the duo did not return home, their families sought answers from the police, receiving no satisfactory response.
When the families went to the police station, they claimed to have heard Alex's screams. Upon demanding to see him, the police reportedly issued threats. Subsequently, a complaint was filed with the Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission.
While in detention, Alex's health deteriorated, leading to his admission to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital by the prison administration. Though he was subsequently discharged from the hospital back into police custody, he was found to be dead when brought back to the hospital on November 19, according to the cause of death form.
A police team, led by the Jaffna Assistant Superintendent of Police, has been assigned to investigate the allegations made by the deceased's relatives regarding police involvement in his death. The body has been kept at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital for post-mortem examination, with the cause of death expected to be determined through the investigation.