STF stops voters, assaults TNA candidate

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 December 2001, 11:51 GMT]
The Special Task Force, an elite commando unit of the Sri Lankan security forces, lobbed grenades at the Paddiruppu Bridge, one of the main entry points for voters designated by Sri Lanka’s Elections Commissioner in the Batticaloa district, and fire on voters who attempted to come through again Wednesday afternoon around 2.30 p.m. A large number of voters who came to the point were threatened and chased back by the commandos. Mr. Gnanamuttu Krishnapillai (Vellimalai), the TNA candidate for the area was severely assaulted by the STF when he went to inform election officials in the Kaluwanchikudy polling centre. The commandos threatened to kill him, sources said.

Polling stopped in the Kaluwanchikudy town, 24 kilometres south of Batticaloa following the STF attack. The STF also assaulted people on the road near the main polling station in Paddiruppu.

Despite the attack by the STF at least 30 percent of the voters who were expected through the Paddiruppu Bridge came early and cast their votes, election officials in Batticaloa said.

 

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