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Five bodies found inside charred van in Dankotuwa

Five unidentified charred bodies were discovered in a burned-out van on a by-road at Buthgampola, Dankotuwa yesterday. Dankotuwa Police located the vehicle on information received via the Police Emergency Hotline Service (119) last morning.

"Police said the van was completely destroyed and a number plate and a few blood stains were found near the burnt out van. It is reported that the van (WPH 1080) belongs to a privatefinance company. Its driver could be a resident of Pannala area," sources said.

The dead driver's wife was able to identity the van, but, was unable to identify whether the body of her husband was among the charred bodies found.

The body of the van driver identified as Kapila is reported to be badly burnt. According to a statement given to the Police by Kapila's wife, Kapila had given a phone call to his daughter on Thursday night and informed her (daughter) that he is going to be late as he had to go somewhere with a few of his friends.

Kapila had worked as a seizerof a leasing company and had several court cases pending.

Meanwhile, another woman has also lodged a complaint that her husband has been missing since Thursday night.

Police say that there is no concrete evidence to show that an technical defect caused the van to catch fire but, believe that the burnt out van and charred bodies may be result of underworld gang warfare.

Dankotuwa Police is currently investigating.

Bodies to be kept at Negombo General Hospital for identification

Kumudu Hettiarachchi

Marawila Magistrate Pasan Amarasena yesterday ordered police to keep the charred bodies found in a van at the Negombo General Hospital for identification. The magistrate made this order after inspecting the van in which five charred bodies were found.

Magistrate Amarasena ordered court officials to place records on the bodies found in the van and the blood stains found near the van.

He ordered those who wish to identify the bodies to appear in court on March 18.

Meanwhile, Negombo Judicial Medical Officer Rahul Haq who visited the scene yesterday, examined undigested food in parts of intestines of the deceased.

A team of officials led by Government Analyst also inspected the scene yesterday noon and started investigations.

The van rear door was opened using iron rods on the directive of JMO Haq.

Later, parts of burned bodies were removed from the van. Scene of Crimes Officials of Sri Lanka Police investigating into the incident found 12 blood stains near the van.

Investigators also found two pairs of shoes about a kilometres away from the scene.