Crowd watch as police ‘beat man to death’

Colombo, October 31: A Man who jumped into the Indian ocean to escape arrest drowned after being badly beaten by Sri Lankan police in the water in front of a large crowd and television cameras, police said.

The 26-year-old motor mechanic was pursued by a policeman after he pelted stones at passing trains in the seafront Bambalapitiya area of Colombo on Thursday.

”The victim had been beaten and prevented from reaching the shore, resulting in his drowning,” police spokesman Nimal Mediwaka said.

”The constable has been arrested by the Crimes Division.”

Television viewers watched with horror on Friday night footage of the man being chased by the policeman and another unidentified man who beat him with sticks until he collapsed in the water and drowned.

The incident, which was watched from shore by a large crowd, had been captured on video by a private TV channel whose studios were nearby.

The mechanic had been receiving treatment for a mental disorder, relatives said.

His body which was carried out to sea by the waves washed up on shore on Friday.