Para-military soldier killed
[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
One Sri Lankan para-military soldier was killed and a Sri Lankan Policeman was slightly wounded in a fracas in Batticaloa this afternoon around 1.45 p.m. said Sri Lankan Army sources in the area. The fracas began when two soldiers of the Razeek group, the much dreaded para-military outfit operating with the SLA in Batticaloa, were stopped by the Sri Lankan Police near Shivananda Maha Viththiyaalayam in Kallady for an identity check.
A spokesman for the Razeek group said this evening that the Policemen who had demanded the national identity cards were under the influence of alcohol. One of the Razeek group men had no identity card on him.
The Policemen had, therefore, forcibly taken away the other man's identity paper and ordered the two come to the nearby Police camp tomorrow for an inquiry.
In the ensuing argument, the Police had shot dead at point blank range one of the Razeek group soldiers identified as Nadesan.
This led to firing from both sides which rocked the area for half an hour said residents. The Police post at nearby Navatkudah fired mortars as well, fearing retaliation from the Razeek group which has a camp in Kallady.
Later, the SLA stepped in to resolve the dispute and helped the paramilitary group recover the body of its dead soldier.
The leader of the group, Razeek, who was away co-ordinating a training program for one of his units at the SLA's Infantry Training School in Minneriya about 120 kilometers north west of Batticaloa, came back this evening to inquire into the matter said a spokesman for the paramilitary group.
Razeek was a senior member of the EPRLF and led an assassination unit under the IPKF known as the 'Mandayan group'.
It is widely believed that Razeek is still very much part of the EPRLF. The organisation, however, issues lame denials whenever the link comes in for public criticism.
The group operates under supervision of the local unit of the Sri Lankan military intelligence.