Valaichenai protests against student abductions
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 11:19 GMT]
Valaichenai-wide hartal was observed and Valaichenai Hindu College in Batticaloa was closed Wednesday as protesters demanded the release of students, Jeyaraj Kirisanth and Suthaharan Kulosan, who were abducted by paramilitary cadres two days ago, sources in Batticaloa said. All public institutions, shops, banks, and hospitals were closed and the streets were deserted. Security was strengthened with increased police patrols and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers deployed at several key junctions, sources added.
Protesters burnt two buses that defied the hartal, one near Vallaichenai Police station at 9.30 a.m., and the other near Karuvakerni junction at 11.30 a.m., sources said.
Paramilitary cadres, riding in a white van on Kalkudah road in Valaichenai, had abducted the two students around 5:30 p.m. Monday, alleged eyewitnesses.
Meanwhile, Muslim sources in Valaichenai said that members of the paramilitary Karuna group, posing as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres, have attacked Muslim civilians accusing them of establishing a Muslim paramilitary group.
Villagers allege that these forces against the peace process are attempting to forment tension between Tamil and Muslim communities.