Monk implicated in a child rape and murder case.

Monk implicated in a child rape and murder case.
Monday, 3 December 2007 - 8:42 AM SL Time
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The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has cracked the recent mysterious death of six-year-old Kasmira Sugandi at a day care centre at Naiwala, Veyangoda.

The NCPA stepped in after local law enforcement officers failed to make progress despite compelling evidence against the chief incumbent of a neighbouring temple.

A source close to the investigation claimed that a determined effort was made by interested parties to shield the suspects. Had the NCPA turned a blind eye to what the source called a transparent attempt at a cover up, Sugandi`s killing would have been just another unsolved mystery.

Authoritative sources said that NCPA after an in-depth investigation into the late October incident, on Friday obtained Colombo Chief Magistrate Macky Mohammed`s permission to arrest the monk who is also the Vice Principal of a leading government school at Veyangoda.

Officers from the police unit attached to the NCPA Friday searched Ubayasekararamaya but found the chief suspect missing. Police are also looking for the manageress of the day care centre and her son who are believed to have witnessed the attack. The manageress is believed to have been aware of the sexual abuse of the child by the monk.

The investigation revealed that the girl had been killed by dashing her head on a wall. Medical inquiries revealed that she had been raped, allegedly by the main suspect. Initially local police declined to act on evidence which clearly revealed the chief suspect`s involvement, the sources said.

The victim`s mother Vajira Priyadarshini led a street protest before Attanagalle Acting Magistrate Samitha Kodisinghe ordered Sugandi`s body be exhumed. The sources said that the NCPA swiftly moved in and brought the case before the Colombo Magistrate`s court amidst allegations that local authorities weren`t interested in pursuing the investigation.

According to two eight year old girls who had been at the temple at the time the suspect grabbed Sugandi by her hair and dashed her head on the wall, the manageress of the day care centre and her son had come with the victim to meet the chief incumbent. They had come in a white coloured van. According to their statements given to the NCPA, Sugandi had collapsed in the temple.

Authorities also called a second post mortem after to establish the exact cause of Sugandi`s death, the sources said.

Well informed sources said that the three persons wanted for questioning in this connection were expected to surrender to NCPA through their lawyers.

The sources said that Police Headquarters and the Judicial Service Commission as well as the Justice Ministry should investigate lapses on the part of local authorities coming under their purview to ascertain whether an organized attempt was made to shield the suspects.