Notorious underworld figure “Kosgoda Tharaka”, who was in police custody under detention orders, has been shot dead early this morning at Meerigama when he tried to attack police officers while recovering some weapons, police said.
Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said the suspect was escorted to the Rendapola area in Meerigama this morning (13) for a special operation, while in custody of the Western Province North Crimes Division.
However, an incident had occurred at that time in the Rendapola area and the police had used force in order to control the situation, he said.
The 34-year-old suspect was shot and injured in police fire during the incident while he had succumbed to injuries on admission to the Meerigama Hospital.
A specials police team has been deployed in order to conduct investigations into the death, he said.
The police spokesman added that Chief Inspector of Police has also been injured in the incident and has been admitted to the Wathupitiwala Hospital for treatment.
A special inquiry into the suspect’s death is to be carried out under the supervision of the Western Province North DIG and police are to report facts to the Attanagalla Magistrate to carry out a magistrate inquest. Thereafter an autopsy would be conducted, he said.
Tharaka Perera Wijesekara alias “Kosgoda Tharaka” is the main suspect in the Matara jewellery store heist in 2018, which resulted in the death of a police officer following a shoot-out between criminals and the police.
He was arrested on June 22, 2018 after he had been admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital with gunshot wounds, along with two more gang members, following the shootout with police during an armed robbery at a jewellery shop in Matara.
The leader of an organized criminal gang, Kosgoda Tharaka had been wanted in connection with at least 07 murders, 21 robberies and several other crimes prior to his arrest.
“The 34-year old gangster was in the custody of the Western Province North Crimes Division and he was escorted to Wendapola in Meerigama police area for a special operation and during the operation an incident had taken place compelling police to use force to control the situation,” said the Police Spokesperson.
Kosgoda Tharaka was injured and admitted to hospital where he was ruled dead upon admission, said the Police Spokesperson adding a special team is conducting investigations.
A Chief Inspector was also injured and he was admitted to hospital for treatment.
Kosgoda Tharaka was involved in multiple crimes in Kosgoda, Matara, Moratuwa and Kottawa Police areas and according to reports he committed 07 murders and 21 thefts.
In 2005 he committed a robbery of Rs.1.7 Mn in cash.
In 2011 he committed a robbery of Rs. 2.3 Mn at People’s Bank in Kosgoda
In 2015 he committed a robbery in Moratuwa
In 2018 he led the gang that robbed jewellery shop in Matara killing a Police Constable