Razeek group blamed for killing
[TamilNet, Friday, 12 November 1999, 17:51 GMT]
At the inquest held into the death of 21 year-old Manikkam Perinpamoorthy of Kaluwankerni, Batticaloa, his wife said in evidence that when she went to the army camp at Morakoddanchenai to see her husband's body, some members of the Razeek group, the auxiliary force of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), chased her away stating that her "husband's story was over".
The inquest was held by the Batticaloa Additional District Judge Mr. K. Thadchchanamoorthy on Thursday at Eravur hospital.
Manikkam Perinpamoorthy was shot dead on Wednesday by the SLA and Razeek group, according to the complaint made by his wife Balakrishnan Vathana at the Eravur Police Station.
Balakrishnan Vathana in her evidence before the Additional District Judge said that her husband left home on the day of incident at about 3 p.m., saying that he was going to pluck coconuts. Few minutes later some one rushed to her house to tell her that her husband had been shot dead.
She and her mother-in-law rushed to the scene where they saw bloodstains but not the body of her husband.
She was then told that the army had removed the body to their camp at Morakoddanchchenai.
She and her mother-in-law then proceeded to the army camp where they asked the members of the Razeek group about the body.
Razeek group members who were seen in the camp threatened them, saying that they too would be shot if they cried, according to the evidence presented. The witness stated that Razeek group members warned her and her mother-in-law to leave the army camp. Through fear she left the army camp with her mother-in-law, she told the inquest.
The witness further said that thereafter, she went to the Eravur police station and made a complaint about the death of her husband. Following her complaint to the police, the body of her husband was handed over to the Eravur hospital by the army.
She added that her husband had no connection with any militant organisation. In the past, the Razeek group had killed three members of her husband's family. Her husband was the fourth in his family killed by the Razeek group.
Lieutenant Sarath Bodhipala of the Morakoddanchchenai army camp said in evidence on the day of incident, he received information that Tiger cadres were seen in the area.
Thereafter he with another soldier Samantha Samaranayake went on patrol duty. Rajanikanth and Thambiraja of Razeek group accompanied them. At one stage, he saw Rajanikanth and Thambiraja firing about 25 rounds.
A search was then conducted, during which they found the body of the deceased lying on the ground. A grenade was also found near the body.
The witness said that he did not know who shot the deceased.
The District Medical Officer (DMO), Eravur hospital, Dr. K. Sukumar, in his post-mortem report had stated that he found nine gunshot injuries on the body of the deceased. The DMO further stated that in his opinion, the deceased was shot at a very close range, possibly while being held by someone.
The Additional District Judge put off the hearing until Monday. He instructed the police to release the body of the deceased to his wife.