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Maheshwaran killing: Gunman arrested



T. Maheshwaran

Police took into custody the gunman who allegedly shot dead UNP Parliamentarian T. Maheshwaran after he was wounded in the retaliatory fire of the MP’s bodyguards at the Sivam Kovil, Kotahena last morning.

The suspect identified as a resident of Gurunagar in Jaffna is held under tight security at the Colombo National hospital, sources said.

A former Minister in the UNP Government, Maheshwaran was shot at by an unknown gunman at the Sivam Kovil around 10 a.m. He later succumbed to his injuries at the Intensive Care unit of the Colombo National hospital.

One of his bodyguards too died in the shooting while 10 others including four women and a child were injured.

Maheshwaran was attending customary new year religious rites at the Kovil when the assassins made their move.

A Defence Ministry official told the Daily News yesterday that the slain MP had been provided with security in accordance with the number of security personnel allocated for an MP from outside the North and East.

Only two security personnel are allocated for MPs outside the North and East and five security personnel are allocated for MPs from the North and East.

Maheshwaran was an MP representing the Colombo district.

The MP has been provided with additional security during his visits to Jaffna. But he has not made any request for additional security for while he was in Colombo, the official added.


MP T. Maheswaran’s family members mourn at a hospital in Colombo. Maheshwaran was shot and killed at a Hindu temple last morning.
Reuters

“The Defence Ministry was not aware of any threat to his life while he is in Colombo neither he had made any such request”, the official added.

The Defence Ministry official also pointed out that apart from this threat assessment, MPs have also been provided with additional security on their personal request from the President.

MPs like Vajira Abeywardena, John Amaratunga have been provided with additional security in accordance with the requests they have made to the President.

“Even the two Police Constables providing security to Maheswaran have firad at the gunman who had shot at the MP when he was coming out of the Hindu Temple”, the official added.

Director of the Colombo National hospital (Emergency Unit) Dr. Anil Jasinghe told the Daily News that Maheshwaran who was admitted with severe gunshot injuries to his chest had died a short while after being admitted.

According to Dr. Jasinghe two of the injured were in a critical condition with severe gun shot injuries.

Born in 1966, Maheswaran first entered Parliament by contesting the Jaffna District from the UNP at the 2000 General Election.

He was made Minister of Hindu Affairs after being elected once again at the 2001 poll. At the 2004 elections he contested from the Colombo District and was re-elected.

At the time of his death he was a member of UNP’s Executive Committee and was also the district organiser for UNP in Jaffna.

Maheswaran was a vociferous speaker in Parliament and spoke in both Sinhala and Tamil.

The Police have launched an extensive investigation into the killing and are looking into how a pistol alleged to be the murder weapon was found in the Kovil premises.

They are also looking into the motive with several angles being probed considering that the slain MP was also a prominent businessman.

 

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