Ms. H.K Mihirihami is a 62 years old mother who resides at Rataperahena, Udaaparakka, Pahalaaparakka, Matara. She earns a living by farming. This story is about the suspicious death of her son.
Dickwellagamage Upali was her son, and he died at the age of 25. Until today his death is suspicious one for them. At the time of his death, he was working at the Singer Institute, Piliyandala. He was working there for about 26 months.
Earlier he had told his mother that he would visit home on 30.08.2012. However, his mother Mihirihami told him to come on the 31st instead of 30th because it was a poya holiday. For that he had said that it was not possible because the OIC want grant leave for all the others also would request leave on that day. He said he would come on the 7th or 8th and would not get back to work again.
On the 31st Mihirihami made a call to her son’s mobile phone. Although it ranged nobody answered the call. When she tried three or four times then it was switch off. She tried to call again late in the night but it was a failure. And so she called another son at Piliyandala named Chandana; he said that he would find out as to what had happened to her son Upali and let her know. Later he told her that there was nothing wrong with her son Upali.
On the 1st her daughter told her that her son Upali was arrested and taken to prison regarding a theft. She further mentioned that three, out of four who were arrested were released; however her son Upali was detained. She felt very sad and frightened because her son would be assaulted by the police. Due to shock, she forgot about her whereabouts. She told her son in law to go and see her son who was detained at the Kalutara prison. Her son in law went to the prison and gave few clothes to Upali. One lawyer told him that he could take the case by filling a motion and could bring him home.
On the 5th Mihirihami and her son in law went to Kesbawa Court. A motion was filed on behalf of her son. The case was called, however bail was not granted due verification of calls to her son’s mobile phone. Later three of them went to Kalutara prison to see her son. At that time they noticed that both the eyes of Upali were turned into dark red. She could not talk to her son properly because what he said was not clear due to over crowd. After that three of them returned home.
On the 12th the case was called once again by submitting a motion. Her son was not at the court. After sometime her son was walked to the court by the support of two prison officers. Two prison officers were holding him from both sides. Her son’s neck was bend and looked like falling down. It seemed that he could not see properly because of his two eyes were turned into red color. Inside the court room, Mihirihami screamed loudly. Although the Magistrate ordered to admit him at hospital, he did not question about his tragic appearance. The Magistrate ordered to submit a medical report.
Her son was released on bail. They took her son in a trishaw. He continuously vomited; he could not speak. She took her son to a lawyer’s house called Rohana Kumara. On the 13th they washed and cleaned her son. After some time he started to speak. He said that his motorcycle was left at the workplace; he said his license, national identity card, mobile phone and the gold chain were confiscated by the police; he also said that his wallet contained Rs.5000/= cash. He complained that he was assaulted by the police; he said that he could not remember as to what was happened to him after that.
At noon his condition turned into worse; he fell on the ground and started to vomit; he stopped talking. They hired a trishaw and took him to Karapitiya hospital. There he was admitted to ward number 18 which is the ward where mentally disabled patients are treated. Her son told to the doctors that after police hit on his ear he forgot as to what happened to him later. Mihirihami thinks that the police assaulted his son and crashed his body and due to that he was turned to this condition. She became very sad.
Her son was discharged by the hospital to stay at home relaxing for a week or so. He came home on the 14th. Again on the 15th his situation became worse. He tried to move, started vomiting again. They again took him to the Karapitiya hospital. Again he was admitted in ward number 18. No treatment was given to him and after three days he was transferred to ward number 16 because his condition turned into worse.
In the afternoon, Mihirihami and her family members went to the Karappitya hospital and saw him being given oxygen. The doctors told to Mihirihami that his condition was very serious and they had to take samples from his backbone to do further diagnoses. Mihirihami gave her consent for that. At that time her son was shouting loudly. His bad condition turned into worse. On 19th at 2.00 pm he was transferred to the intensive care unit. On the 20th, Mihirihami came to know that her son was no more.
The family believes firmly and confidently that Upali’s death is a suspicious one. The doctors made various statements; one said that he had brain fever; another said that blood clotted in his brain.
Now the doctors refrain from forwarding medical reports, and say that various influences forcing them to report that as the death is not a suspicious one. But the family members are very suspicious about the death. Mihirihami said that her son did not have any illness before that tragic incident. Mihirihami thinks and firmly believes that the death occurred due to assault by police and/or prison officers and also of medical negligence. She has made written complaints to the relevant authorities regarding her son’s death. She anticipates that legal actions should be taken against the perpetrators who are responsible for her son’s death.
We request you to urge relevant authorities to hold impartial inquiry into what had happened to Dickwellagamage Upali, son of Mihirihami, because the entire family firmly believes that the death of their beloved Upali is a suspicious one.
Harshi C. Perera