According to the Police Headquarters, a criminal gang that surfaced from the Jaffna Peninsula named ‘Awa’ is now said have taken roots in a number of other areas around the country.
However, the police say that they will take all action to apprehend those involved with the group, as soon as possible, and put a permanent stop to the illegal activities taking place in the northern part of Sri Lanka.
According to a release issued by the Police Headquarters, a key member of the Awa group was arrested day before yesterday in Dehiwala, produced before the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court and was placed under remand custody until March 31.
Police adds that following long hours of questioning, they were able to discover a sword used by the group of alleged criminals.
The Police Media Unit adds that on a prior occasion, five suspects connected to the group were arrested and produced before Courts.
During the past few years, several instances were reported where a number of persons were arrested for allegedly committing crimes using weapons.
January 6, 2014: Eleven persons suspected to be affiliated to the Awa group arrested in Kondavil- Jaffna.
January 23, 2014: Two persons affiliated to the Awa group, arrested.
August 14, 2014: Four persons affiliated to the Krishna crime gang arrested in Manipai.
May 9,2016: A group by the name of ‘Rock Team’ linked to crimes in the Jaffna Peninsula arrested.
Meanwhile, a number of politicians expressed views with regard to the Awa Group.
Minister of Regional Development, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka:
“It is the duty of both the police and the armed forces to take action against this. I do not think that it is a matter we need to be afraid of. If the police or the armed forces take action on this, it will only be a step taken by the government. I am aware that the government has given instructions to both the Heads of the armed forces and police personnel of the north. They are geared up to take all action. According to reports which we receive, the situation is nothing that we should be afraid of. The police and armed forces are on alert”.
Minister of Fisheries, Mahinda Amaraweera:
“We as a government have all processes in place to see that criminal gangs, be it Awa, or any other group to be arrested and curb them. We will not allow any criminal gang to be present in this country. We will not let any criminal group enter the country or engage in crimes disregarding the security forces”.