Muslim-Tamil tension in Trinco south village
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 October 2003, 18:50 GMT]
More than four hundred families from Aalangkulam, south of Trincomalee, left their village Wednesday evening in fear of attacks by a Muslim group, residents from the area said. “The situation remains tense here among the Tamils,” Mr. Ketheeswaran Arunasalam, President of the village temple’s trustee board, told TamilNet.
A youth from the village identified as Mr. Selvarajah Lingeswaran, 29, was hacked with machetes and beaten with batons and sticks, allegedly by Muslims Wednesday. He was rushed to the government hospital in Trincomalee town.
Police arrested one of Mr. Lingeswaran’s attackers. He was released when a crowd of angry Muslims prevented the Police from taking him under custody with them.
Aalangkulam residents have sought safety in the neighbouring village of Eechanthivu, Police sources in Mutur said.
Displaced Aalangkulam residents alleged that five school children who went to the Muslim area were abducted, but were released later in the day.
“A Muslim group has been trying to pressure poor Tamil families who are settled in 12 acres of land belonging to the Aalangkulam Pillaiyar Temple to leave. There were encroachments here by Muslims since we left the village due to the war in 1990. A Muslim settlement called Faisal Nagar came up nearby on land that had been taken over from a Tamil landowner by the Land Reform Commission in 1972,” Mr. Ketheeswaran said.
“Today the families living on the temple land were attacked brutally by this armed Muslim group,” he alleged.