Angry protesters kill SL Policeman, Puththa'lam tense

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 August 2011, 18:42 GMT]
A Sinhala policeman returning from duty was attacked and killed by Muslim protesters in Puththa'lam town Sunday night, initial reports from the area said. The protesters had rallied at Puththa'lam town, from the mosque of Jumma Masjid to the main roundabout, after the residents of Ma'naltheevu, a village 3 km north of Puththa'lam on Puththa'lam - Mannaar Road, confronted alleged ‘grease devil’ attackers, attacking the intruders and two SL policemen. The latest series of attacks by so-called grease devils are targeting remote and border villages, especially the Muslim villages and Up-Country Tamil areas where the Sri Lankan military is attempting to expand its military grip, political circles in Puththa'lam and Vavuniyaa told TamilNet.

The violent protesters set fire to the motorbike in which the policeman, who had no connection with the episode, was travelling to report at his station. The angry mob that attacked the policeman allegedly put him on the fire. The SL Police is yet to confirm the reports.

A few hours earlier, two armed Sinhalese, who entered the premises of a house caused injuries to the dog at the house with their knives. When Muslim youth from the area confronted the intruders, the armed men reportedly began firing. The incident was reported between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.

However, Muslim villagers got together and chased the intruders. According to initial reports, the armed men, during their escape, were trapped inside a pond and were severely beaten by the villagers.

Meanwhile, two policemen attached to the traffic branch of Puththa'lam Police rushed to the site in an attempt to save the men who were being attacked. One of the policeman was also severely beaten by the angry villagers.

Later, representatives from the main mosque, Jumma Masjid in Puththa'lam, rushed to the protester and asked them to make it a peaceful protest in the town.

However, when the protesters gathered from the Masjid to the nearby roundabout in the town, the Sri Lanka Army, Navy and SL Police deployed at the site began confronting the protesters, triggering further violence, the protestors say.

At least five protesters were wounded.

Medical sources at Puththa'lam hospital say they attending 3 times more patients following the latest violence.

Tension prevails in Puththa'lam and the Muslim protesters have forced the SL Army and Navy to stay away from the protesting youth, latest reports said.


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