Criminals terrorise Udupiddy under SLA's aegis

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 October 2003, 18:22 GMT]
Civil society groups, residents and school students from Udupiddy in Jaffna Monday complained to the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that Sri Lanka army is providing special protection to local criminals who are on a bloody rampage in the village. One of the criminals attacked and grievously wounded Mr. A. S. Sivagnanam, senior resident of Udupiddy, with an army bayonet Sunday at the Veerapthirar Temple.

Relatives of the victim said the attacker, also a resident of the village, came in a vehicle from the Udupiddy camp of the SLA's 51-2 Brigade.

The same person attempted to attack two schoolboys with the bayonet later on Sunday. Mr. Sivalingam Amsumal, 17 and Mr. Ponnuthurai Vinoth, 17, said that they escaped by running into a narrow lane. The schoolboys said the Sri Lanka army soldiers were standing guard behind the attacker.

On Saturday, the same person chased Mr. Sivapathsundaram Parameswaran, a teacher who is the treasurer of the Udupiddy Community Centre to stab him with the bayonet.

Mr. Parameswaran said he escaped unhurt. He too said that an SLA patrol was providing protection to the attacker, identified by local residents as ëYogeswaraní, a former employee of the state owned National Savings Bank sacked allegedly for fraud.

The Sri Lanka army is encamped by the Udupiddy American Mission School.

Police arrested and remanded the attackerís three sons two months ago for allegedly knifing and seriously wounding an old man for refusing to let them pluck coconuts from his garden.

Police arrested and charged them in the Pt. Pedro courts. The three were enlarged on bail recently. Udupiddy residents said they (the sons) continued to harass, threaten and intimidate villagers despite the case being still heard in the Pt. Pedro courts.

On Thursday night an unidentified group abducted the three in a van. After severely assaulting them, the group had dropped them off in the Chemmani cemetery near Jaffna town in the early hours of Friday morning.

"Now they are attacking everyone in the village whom they suspect of instigating the abduction and assault", a civil society leader in Udupiddy told TamilNet.

Earlier sixty-five local community leaders and concerned residents signed and sent a petition to the Liberation Tigers, describing ìthe anti-social and intimidating activitiesî of ëYogeswaraní and his sons.

Since Friday, the Sri Lanka army is providing round the clock security to the ëYogeswaraní home in Udupiddy, residents said.

Following Sunday's rampage, the Udupiddy Welfare Society, Community Centre, a large number of residents and the two schoolboys took a petition to the SLMM and National Human rights Commission in Jaffna town.

"We do not trust the Police to act impartially in this matter because the Sri Lankan armed forces are protecting and providing escort to criminals", a senior member of the delegation told TamilNet after the petition was handed over.


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