It all ends in tears
[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 September 1998, 15:14 GMT]
Allegations of murder and kidnapping that had led to tensions between the Muslim and Tamil communities in Batticaloa finally fizzled out today.
The allegations were made by an Islamic militant group that had accused armed Tamils of abducting and killing a Muslim youth, who had been missing since Thursday.
Matters were brought to a head when the youth in question Mohammed Nafaideen, 16, was arrested today at the Kallady Police checkpoint, on the southern edge of Batticaloa town.
The youth had told police that he had been abducted by armed Tamils but when pressed about the circumstances of his abduction, he had confessed that he had spent a day with a Tamil girl in Polannaruwa, 95 kilometers north-west of Batticaloa.
The girl is from the Tamil village where Nafaideen's bicycle was found abandoned on Thursday.
Islamic militants who had organised a protest closure of Muslim shops in Kattankudy were angered at Mohammed Nafaideen's arrest and instigated some Muslims to pelt the local police post.
The police then fired shots into the air to disperse the crowd.