Arjuna Ranatunga arrested over shooting incident before being released on bail

Sudhir Gupta 22:27 29/10/2018
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Ranatunga on his way to the court on Monday.

Former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga was in the thick of things as the political crisis in the country continued following President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dismiss Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and dissolve the cabinet.

Since that move by the country’s President on Friday, trade unions across the country have blocked ministers from the old cabinet from accessing their ministries.

Ranatunga had been serving as the country’s Petroleum Minister under Wickremesinghe and returned to the country on Saturday following the President’s announcement.

Drama ensued when the 1996 World Cup winning captain and his aides attempted to enter his ministerial office in Colombo on Sunday with trade unions linked to new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa blocking their entry and then holding them hostage subsequently.

Ranatunga and his aides had to be rescued by the Special Security Force and Sri Lanka police commandos after a six-hour ordeal.

Ranatunga had been serving as the country's Petroleum Minister.

Ranatunga had been serving as the country’s Petroleum Minister.

“I am alive today only because of god’s grace and bravery of my bodyguards. They wanted to kill me. They almost got me. Where is the rule of law or democracy in our country? My life is under threat. The people of Sri Lanka won’t tolerate this anymore,” Ranatunga told News18.

The drama did not end there with the former Sri Lanka batsman being arrested over the shooting of one person in Sunday’s incident. According to the police, Ranatunga’s security detail had shot and killed one person while injuring two others during the attempt to enter ministerial office.

“Colombo Crime division arrested Ranatunga over the shooting incident and he will be produced to the court shortly,” police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Ranatunga was subsequently granted a swift bail.

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