Poverty ends in murder
Eesha Anurudha Abeysekera was a small time businessman who lived in
Kalutara North with his wife Rupika. He was a fruit and a vegetable
dealer by profession. His business prospered as years rolled by and
lived comfortably with his family.
The couple purchased a three-acre plot of land at Horana and grew
vegetables and fruits which they sold in the open market. But things did
not work out well for him as planned. His business collapsed and he
became indebted to several persons in the area.
Burdened with financial difficulties and unable to repay his debts he
started brewing illicit liquor (Kasippu) in Kalurata and Horana areas.
However, when the Police got wind of it they kept on raiding his
moonshine den and he was hauled up before courts many times.
Due to his involvement in the illicit liquor trade, Abeysekera hob
knobbed with the underworld men and unsavoury characters in the area and
became addicted to liquor. There were constant quarrels at home with his
wife due to his drunkenness. After sometime the wife began to resent him
when he ill-treated her.
Kalutara North Police Station Ajith Kumara Pitigala
||OIC Crimes Sub
Inspector D.R. Wijepala.
During this period the couple met a person named Rohitha from
Payagala who became close to Abeysekera’s family. He visited them often
and struck an everlasting friendship.
Thereafter, families of both persons became close to each other and
exchanged visits. They even went on excursions and pilgrimages to
several places. It was during this period that Rohitha developed a
clandestine affair with Rupika.
Abeysekera suspected his wife of having an affair with Rohitha and
began to harass her. But the clandestine affair soon developed into a
sexual relationship and they became inseparable. To overcome financial
difficulties Abeysekera sold their three-acre estate at Horana and
purchased a house and property at Sri Sumangala Road at Kalutara North
for a sum of Rs. 28 lakhs.
He utilised the balance money and purchased a lorry used to transport
fruits and vegetables from Kataragama. On his trips to the South he came
in contact with the underworld men from Kataragama and at Wellawaya who
dealt with ganja.
Abeysekera smuggled a large quantity of ganja concealed with
vegetables and fruits. The ganja was stockpiled at his mother’s home at
Payagala and sold secretly to dealers in the area. It was a closely
guarded secret business.
He never brought the ganja to his home at Kalutara. He usually made
two or three trips to the South every month and spent a couple of days
During his absence his wife Rupika and Rohitha spent time together in
guest houses and hotels in the area. Abeysekera had borrowed Rs. 6 lakhs
from Rohitha, but had failed to return the money.
Similarly, he failed to pay a sum of Rs. 80,000 to a man named Malu
Chutti of Beruwela for a consignment of fish he purchased from him.
Rohitha and Malu Chutti one day went to Abeysekera’s home and threatened
to kill him if he did not return their money.
On November 8, 2007 morning Abeysekera set out from his home with
Malu Chutti in his lorry to the Southern Province. On their way Rohitha
Their mission to the South was to purchase a large consignment of
vegetables. Abeysekera visited the Southern Province often and was
familiar with the network of vegetable dealers. While at Hungama that
night Rohitha tied a rope around Abeysekera’s neck and strangled him
while Malu Chutti stabbed him several times. They later dumped his body
in a shrub and returned to Colombo in the lorry.
The lorry was brought back to Abeysekera’s home on October 10, 2007
and both men disappeared thereafter.
Coincidently, Abeysekera’s body was found abandoned in a shrub jungle
in the Hungama area on the following day. There were visible cut
injuries on the body. The Hungama Police, after visiting the scene of
crime removed the body to the Hambantota government hospital morgue for
a post mortem examination.
The autopsy revealed that he was murdered. Later the murder was
brought to the notice of Inspector Ajith Kumara Pitigala, the OIC of
Kalutara North Police Station who launched a relentless investigation.
He briefed his intelligence unit to keep an eye on Abeysekera’s
widow. After toiling for several months the sleuths were able to unravel
the mystery of the murder.
Police learnt about the clandestine affair Rupika had with Rohitha.
However, after Abeysekera’s murder Rohitha took utmost precautions
not to visit Rupika frequently. Rohitha later confessed to Rupika about
the murder of her husband and threatened to kill her and her two
children if she told the police.
Investigations also revealed that Abeysekera had borrowed several
lakhs from Rohitha and not returned the money. Police gathered evidence
that Abeysekera was done to death as he failed to repay the debts. The
two suspects involved in the murder have been taken into custody.
Meanwhile, police are looking for the third suspect who had fled from
the area. Inspector Ajith Pitigala, OIC Crimes Sub Inspector Wijepala,
Police Sergeant 4991 Ratnasiri, Police Constable 39085 Manamperi, Police
Constable 55355 Milton, Police Constable 4684 Karawita and Home Guard
894 Wasantha are further investigating the murder.