4TH LEAD (ADDED VIDEO)
Police, orthodox Muslims clash in Kathankudy, 1 killed, 8 wounded
[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 December 2006, 11:21 GMT]
A Muslim protestor was killed and 8 wounded when Police fired at the protestors Thrusday in Kathankuddy town, in Batticaloa district, which continues to be in turmoil for the eighth consecutive day as police open fire and teargas Thursday to control crowds which have set fire to a police sentry post, four auto rickshaws, four shops and four banks in Kathankudyy town. The orthodox Muslims, engaged in a spate of anger against the Islamic sect Sufi, demand the remains of M. S. Abdul Payilvan, one of the leaders of Sufi sect and the President of All Island Tharikathul Mufliheen, to be removed from Katthankudy soil and buried elsewhere. A police curfew has been imposed in Kathankudy Thursday.
Mohmmathu Musafa Mohammathu Rafik, 38, was killed on the spot in Kathankudy town when police opened fire at the protestors.
At least 25 houses were set on fire by the mob. A number motorcycles were destroyed.
Branches of Ceylan Bank, Hatton National Bank, Bank of Ceylon and People Bank were also damaged in the clashes between the two Islamic factions and the police attempting to control the angered protestors.
Since Thursday last week the orthodox Muslims are observing a Hartal demanding the removal of Payilvan's remains from the Tharikathul Mufliheen Mosque burial grounds in Kathankudy.
The Jamiyathul Ulama board, Town council, Mosques and Muslim organisations of Kathankudy had jointly submitted a petition to Batticaloa Courts to order the remains of Payilvan removed from Kathankudy.
Batticaloa court Wednesday ordered the removal of Payilvan's remains from the Tharikathul Mufliheen Mosque burial grounds in Kathankudy, the police said.
Nearly five thousand orthodox Muslims demonstrated in protest against the police for not carrying out the Court's verdict, in front of the Kathankudy Regional Council.
The agitation, growing strong, reached Thursday its heights as enraged orthodox Muslims of Kathankuddy set ablaze a police sentry post, Hatton National Bank, Ceylan Bank, Bank of Ceylon, two shops and four three-wheelers in Kathankudy town, the sources said.
Tyres were burnt on the roads. Buses from Batticaloa to Kalmunai were stopped in front of Kathankudy police station and the buses from Kalmunai and Batticaloa were stopped in front of Araiyampathy Special Task Force of the police.
Though Batticaloa Courts had granted permission to remove the Tharikathul Mufliheen building from Kathankudy, it still remains intact in its original site and is heavily guarded by armed police and army.
Payilvan's grave is guarded by the Special Task Force of the police as Payilvan has donated millions of rupees to the Security Funds of Sri Lanka, orthodox Muslims of Kathankudy alleged.