Assault complaint brings retribution

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 August 1998, 23:00 GMT]
Two people were arrested during a cordon and search operation, on Sunday morning between 7.00 a.m and 11.00 a.m, in the Navakudah area, 5 km south of Batticaloa. The operation, carried out by a joint Sri Lanka Army - Police team, follows a fortnight of harassment of the Kallady public by the security forces, said sources.

The old Kalmunai Road and other interior roads were closed during the operation.

Afterwards security forces took identity cards off all the residents, they were asked to come 'Kallady Pillaiyar Kovil' (temple) and the 'Narasinga Vairavar Kovil' to reclaim them.

The residents were questioned closely in view of establishing their identities before their ID cards were handed back to them.

School children scheduled to sit the Grade V scholarship examination were greatly inconvenienced.

That evening, members of the public in the area were assaulted and a man arrested, though he was released around 11:00 a.m., on Monday.

The operation is police retaliation for civilians complaints about its highhanded behaviour some weeks ago, said sources.

The Secretary of the School Development Society for Sivananda school (S. Thampaiah) was assaulted on July 16 by the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Kallady Police station, said the sources.

Mr. Thampaiah had been standing outside the school premises and speaking with the school Principal Mr. P. Anantharajah and two other teachers. At about 6.30 p.m. the OIC passed by and made enquiries as to what they were doing and then assaulted Mr. Thampaiah.

Mr. Thampaiah complained to the authorities who set in motion an inquiry. Following this, the OIC of the Kattankudy police station, 3 km north of Batticaloa, allegedly threatened Mr. Thampaiah.

This too was reported to authorities, which resulted in transfers of police personnel from the Kallady 3 and Kattankudy police stations.

The police, angered by this, retaliated by assaulting the Kallady public in the evenings and harassing them in other ways, which reached a climax on Sunday in a cordon and search operation, the sources added.

The old Kalmunai Road and other interior roads were closed during the operation which was conducted by a joint police, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Special Task Force (STF) team.

After security forces took the identity cards of all the residents of the area, they were asked to come 'Kallady Pillaiyar Kovil' and the 'Narasinga Vairavar Kovil' to reclaim them.

The residents were questioned closely in view of establishing their identities before their ID cards were handed back to them.

The two youth were arrested for further questioning during these preliminary investigations, said sources.

 

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