Pillayaan group begins collecting voting cards of disappeared
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 March 2008, 12:50 GMT]
Paramilitary operatives of Pillayan group have started visiting the homes in the villages in Batticaloa district and begin to collect the voting eligibility cards of those who are deceased, gone missing or left for foreign countries, residents in the area said.
The paramilitary operatives, visiting the homes in the villages demand details of the family members and then compare them with the available number of poll cards.
Whenever the group finds discrepancy between the actual number of eligible voters physically present in the homes and the number of poll cards issued, the excess cards are taken by force threatening the inmates with death, residents said.
The elections for nine local councils in Batticaloa district is being held based on the census taken in the district in 2006. However, during Sri Lanka Army( SLA) offensives targeting Vaaharai and Paduvaankarai in mid 2007, many were killed and in addition a number of male civilians arrested by SLA have disappeared.
With the elections scheduled to be held 10 March, the election campaign by the registered political parties and independent groups have intensified.
Vandelized posters of Pillayan group further reflect the undercurrent of election rivalry in the district, election observers in the area said.
Meanwhile, a joint cordon and search operation was conducted Monday early morning by SLA and Ea’raavoor police in Chiththaa'ndi 1st Division in Ea'raavoor Police division.
The troopers scrutinized photographs in the houses and inquired on the whereabouts of those appearing in the photographs, residents said.
The Local Government Election in Batticaloa district is scheduled to be held on March 10 at which 101 members will be elected to nine local bodies. The election will be held at 285 poling stations and 270,471 voters are eligible.