Athurugiriya police last Thursday arrested two men who gunned down underworld figure ‘Chana" alias Illeperumage Don Chaminda Perera when he was leaving the Homagama Magistrate’s Court recently where he was charged with assault.
According to police the 37-year-old ‘Chana’ was a married resident of Gaminipura, Meegoda. He had been a ganja (cannabis) peddler, the police said.
The two suspects arrested in connection with the killing of "Chana" were close friends and residents of Gaminipura and Udupila, Imbulgodaa aged 28-years and 33-years.
The first suspect had been served with 19 warrants and charged with murder, robbery at gunpoint and one of the cases was being heard at the Colombo High Court.
The second suspect responsible for "Chana" s murder is also a ganga peddler and they had been at loggerheads for a long time and the former had been frequently harassing and intimidating the latter.
After the first suspect was sentenced to jail after being found guilty of robbery the second suspect visited him frequently in jail.
The latter had been complaining to the first suspect who was serving the jail term about the harassment meted out to him by "Chana" and the first suspect had assured that he would bump off "Chana" once he is released from jail.
When "Chana" proceeded to have a glass of orange juice after leaving court, his two rivals had arrived on a motorcycle and obstructed the path of the three wheeler that "Chana" was travelling in and opened fire at him and fled.
They were arrested while hiding in a safe house in Watareka.
The killers had used a T-56 assault rifle. The police also took into custody a micro pistol and ammunition from their possession