Protesters demand release of abducted trader in Kathankudy
[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 January 2007, 13:58 GMT]
Residents of Kathankudy protested in front of the Regional Secretariat in Kathankudy Sunday, demanding the immediate release of a supporter of Raub Mowlavi, a leader of the Sufi sect, who was abducted allegedly by one of the Muslim armed groups operating in Kathankudy, around 12:00 noon Saturday at Methaipalli road, Kathankudy.
Hiyathu Mohamed Nasar, 35, a father of two and a supporter of Raub Mowlavi, had gone out with two yet unidentified persons who had come to see him Saturday noon to buy motor cycle, and had not returned since then, his family members said.
Nasar is an owner of a video shop and a part-time trader dealing in motor vehicles and hand phones.
Tough a complaint was lodged about Nasar's disappearance at Kathankudy police Saturday around 2:00 p.m, investigations began only after 10:00 p.m Saturday, the family members said.
Men and women, gathered in front of the Regional Secretariat, said that their agitation will continue until Nasar is released.
Tension mounted in Kathankudy as large numbers of police and the Special Task force (STF) jointly started security operations.
The book shop belonging to another supporter of Raub Mowlavi, was burnt down Thursday in Kathankudy.
A long standing religious enmity exists between orthodox Muslims and followers of the Sufi sect who have been branded as heretics by the Ulama committee. The sect was established two decades ago by the charismatic Raub Mowlavi in Kaththankudy.
About 2000 Muslim families mainly on the east coast follow the teachings of Raub Mowlavi.
Despite pressure from powerful orthodox Muslims in various parts of the island, Raub Mowlavi continued to wield considerable political and social influence in Kaththankudy and other Muslim villages in the Batticaloa and Amparai districts.
Raub Mawlavi's critics say that his teachings have borrowed from Hinduism and is the work of some Muslims who came from Tamil Nadu and settled in Kaththankudy.