Muslim mob attacks Tamil-owned gas station in Vaazhaichcheanai
[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 May 2007, 12:32 GMT]
A fuel station in Vaazhaichcheanai owned by a Tamil business man, located near the railway station in an area patrolled by SriLanka armed forces was attacked by a mob of more than 200 Muslims Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m soon after the noon prayer at Oddamaavadi Grand Mosque, sources in Batticaloa said. The damage to the fuel station located in a property owned by the businessman was estimated to be more than Rs.500,000.
Sri Lankan Army (SLA) soldiers and traffic policemen were on duty at the time of the incident. Vaazhaichcheanai
police station is located 150 metres from the petrol station.
The owner of the gas station G.Somakanthan said that even after he reported the impending attack to the Vaazhaichcheanai police, the police did not come to his aid. Only after he informed Batticaloa police chief, did the police intervene bringing the situation under control, Somakanthan said.
The gas station was originally located on the road passing through the police station. Whenever there is a violent incident in the area, the station has to be closed, resulting in all vehicles bound for Batticaloa and Kalmunai being diverted through alternate routes seriously affecting the business of the gas station.
In addition, the fueling station is closed from 6:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m. due to security concerns.
To compensate for the loss Mr.Somaskanthan relocated the fuel station in a nearby land registered in 1980 by the Divisional Secretary (DS).
This act of violence has created tension between the Tamil and
Muslim community, area residents said.
Vaazhaichcheanai is located 30 km north from Batticaloa.