Search operation in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Two suburbs of the Batticaloa town on the western edge of the Sri Lankan airforce base were cordoned off and searched by the Razeek group and the Police in the early hours of the morning around 5 p.m. today.

The search operation in Seththukkudah and Veechchukalmunai lasted for more than five hours.

12 persons were arrested and taken to the local military intelligence camp for interrogation around 10.15 a.m. this morning.The area was searched yesterday as well.

The Police went from house to house and collected national identity cards from all the residents in the two suburbs.

They were told to gather at the local Pillaiyar temple to get their national identity cards back, after questioning.

The Razeek group was in full SLA uniform said residents.

The operations followed information that a female cadre of the Liberation Tigers had visited the area.

Razeek group operates under supervision of the local unit of the Sri Lankan military intelligence and many of them draw salaries as full time soldiers of the Sri Lankan army.

Razeek was a senior member of the EPRLF and led an assassination unit under the IPKF known as the 'Mandayan' group.

Meanwhile last night around 7.30 p.m. unidentified persons through grenades at the main transformer complex of the Batticaloa town which is located in the suburb of Kallady.

The Police sentry at the complex had opened fire indiscriminately in fear, wounding a civilian in the neighbourhood identified as S. Balachandran 37.

A member of the TELO who had come home in the village of Kurukkal Madam 20 km south of Batticaloa was shot dead last evening. The dead youth, Sangarappillai Pathmasuthan had been with the TELO in Colombo for some time.


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