Questions have been raised over police conclusions into the death of a Tamil youth under its custody even as investigations are still ongoing.
Announcements by the police media division with regard to the matter have come in for criticism by lawyers and a rights group.
Nagarasa Alex (26) was arrested on 08 November for an inquiry on a theft, and had been produced before courts on 12 November after parents lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on 10 November.
However, the police statement gave the date of arrest of two youths over a cash and jewelry theft as 11 November.
Lawyer Kanagaratnam Sugash said the two had been detained and tortured for four days.
The other youth was released on bail and his family was threatened by the police and demanded to give a letter that he had not been tortured.
The committee for prisoners’ rights complained to the Human Rights Commission on 21 November.
Director of the committee Sudesh Nandimal de Silva told journalists that Alex had been admitted to hospital on an order by the court after it was informed that he had been assaulted.
The police statement said the youth had been admitted to hospital after falling ill suddenly, without mentioning a date of admission, but saying he remained in hospital until 16 November.
He became ill again on 19 November and died after admission to Jaffna Teaching Hospital, it also said.
However, the JMO report noted that he was already dead when he was admitted to hospital.
The JMO report said further that no illness that caused his death had been found, but police claimed death due to kidney dysfunction from body wounds.
The postmortem examination report mentioned multiple wounds and abrasions on his back, hands and legs.