Batticalloa village youths clash
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 June 1998, 23:59 GMT]
A clash between the youths from two suburban villages of Batticaloa last night, left 12 persons injured and tension in the air, said sources in Batticaloa. Problems surfaced when youngsters from Ariyampathy village, 12 km south of Batticaloa, were assaulted by the villagers from Puthukudiyiruppu when they were dancing at the Puthukudiyiruppu Kannakai Amman Kovil celebrations last night around 1:00 a.m. The dance had taken place during a music recital.
The villagers of Puthukidyiruppu had objected to the youth from the neighbouring village dancing, because such behaviour was felt to be unseemly during a religious festival. The assault at the temple had left three youths from Ariyampathy and one from Puthukudiyiruppu wounded.
Following this incident, the youth of Ariyampathi had gone back to their village, collected an approximately 100 strong force and set out to get even with their enemies.
They had waited on the road armed with iron bars and staves, signalled the Kaluwanchikudi-Batticaloa bus to halt, boarded the bus, identified the residents of Puthukudiyiruppu by examininig their ID cards and then assaulted them mercilessly.
Even cyclists from Puthukudiyiruppu were not spared. The injured were admitted to the Batticaloa and Ariyampathy Hospitals.
The villagers from Puthukudiyiruppu said at the time of the incident, they did not know why they were being assaulted. The victims have not identified any of the suspects, but say that they can do so if an identification parade is held.
Following the clashes, the Special Task Force has been asked to strengthen the guard at the two villages which are around 3 km from each other.
There is to be a conference to settle matters tomorrow morning at the Divisional Secretariat in the presence of S. Uthayakumar, the Divisional Secretary, to which prominent citizens, elders and Grama Sevakas (GSs) of both villages have been invited.
Meanwhile villagers did not visit each others villages today, due to fear, said sources.