3RD LEAD

Ki'n'niyaa Muslims attack SLN camp over “grease devil” scare

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 August 2011, 10:32 GMT]
The Sri Army and the Police at last yielded to the demand of the protesting residents of Ki'n'niyaa and released all twenty four Muslim civilians including three students who are sitting for the G.C.E. advanced level examination. They were arrested following a group of Muslim civilians attacked a camp of the Sri Lanka Navy Sunday night suspecting that an alleged ‘grease devil” roaming in the area had entered the navy camp located in Ki'n'niyaa. Residents said they had witnessed a ‘grease devil” that had entered the navy camp located at Faisal Nagar in Ki'n'niyaa town in a car. ‘Grease devil’ is kind of attack on women reported in the island in which the culprit comes after applying grease on his body so that he could not be caught.

Muslim residents of the area had gathered opposite the navy camp started to throw stones at the camp causing unrest.

SL Navy personnel started firing towards the crowd injuring several civilians. The mob started attacking the team of police arrived at the scene to bring the situation under control and set fire to a police jeep injuring two officers, police sources said.

Trincomalee Government Agent and Eastern Province SLA commander rushed to Ki'n'niyaa Monday morning to inquire into the alleged assault on civilians and arrest of civilians.

Tension prevailed in Ki'n'niyaa town from Monday morning when over one thousand five hundred Muslim civilians surrounded the office of the Ki'n'niyaa Divisional Secretariat where the Government Agent Ranjith de Silva, retired Major General of the SLA and Major General Boniface Perera, SLA Commander of the Eastern Province had been in discussion with local Muslim leaders to sort out the dispute over the arrest of 24 protesters.

Meanwhile Ministers Rauf Hakim, A.H.M.Fowzie and Rischard Bathiudeen Monday morning arrived in Ki'n'niyaa by a special flight to settle the dispute.

But the protesters said they would not allow the Government Agent and Army Commander to leave the DS office until all the arrested civilians should be released immediately. Ministers and representatives attending the conference had tried their best to persuade the protesters to allow the GA and Army Commander to leave the office. But the protesters did not yield to the pressure.

Armoured cars were brought to the scene by the SLA to force the protesters to leave the site. Later the army opened fire in air to frighten the protesters. But protesters did not move from the site.

Finally order came from Colombo to release all those arrested immediately. Thereafter the Government Agent and top army officers returned to Trincomalee from the DS office via Thampalakaamam road around 2:00 p.m. and not by the newly opened main bridge from Ki'n'niyaa to Trincomalee to avoid protesters who were taken to nearby mosque by SL Ministers Rauf Hakim, Fowzie and Rischard Bathiudeen.


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