University employee detained

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 February 1999, 07:39 GMT]
A laboratory assistant of the Medical Faculty of the University of Jaffna, Selveranjan Selvakumar, was arrested by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) last night. Human rights activists were surprised that the army had for the first time given a receipt of arrest in the case of Selvakumar directly to the Human RightsCommission (HRC) office in Jaffna.

Normally, the receipt of arrest is given to parents or relatives they said.

They wondered why the army had taken unusual pains to give the receipt to the Human Rights Commission office.

University sources, meanwhile, said that the arrest was puzzling because Selvaranjan had exceptionally cordial relations with the local SLA camp.

They said that the officer in charge of the Kondavil army camp had sent soldiers on behalf of Selvaranjan to coerce a person who was evading repayment of one hundred thousand rupees he owed the lab assistant.

The soldiers from the Kondavil camp had beaten up the person who had not repaid the loan to Selvaranjan and had forced out fifteen thousand rupees from the borrower.

This money was given to the lab assistant and a promise was extracted by the Kondavil SLA officer from the borrower that he would pay the balance soon.

It was believed at the time that the Kondavil army valued its relationship with the lab assistant.

However, the person who had borrowed money from Selvaranjan took his case to the Human Rights Commission which interceded on his behalf to obtain a receipt for the money that was forced out of him by the soldiers as part repayment of the loan.

Some sources in the university alleged that the lab assistant was a SLA informant and the arrest is a drama staged managed by the army to protect the true nature of his relationship with them.



Police sources in Jaffna, however, while not completely rejecting the allegation, said that Selvaranjan might have been caught double dealing, pointing out that the army was investigating the LTTE posters that came on the campus of the Jaffna university this week.


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