Tamil paramilitaries’ extortion under scrutiny
[TamilNet, Friday, 15 February 2002, 20:51 GMT]
The Vavuniya Magistrate, Mr.M.Ilancheliyan, Friday directed police to investigate several complaints made by civilians about cadres of a Tamil paramilitary group, working alongside the Army, which has been extorting money from villagers in suburbs of Vavuniya claiming they were representing Liberation Tigers, court sources said.
Villagers said armed cadres of the group have also been collecting money from employees of Vavuniya bus depot at 150 rupees per head for the last five months in the name of an employees' welfare society. Consequent to complaints made in this regard the Vavuniya Magistrate directed the authorities concerned not to allow the collection of money from employees who are not willing to contribute. It came to light later the money already collected in the name of employees welfare society had been diverted to the coffers of the said Tamil armed group operating in Vavuniya.
Meanwhile, police in Ampara district in the eastern province caught red handed a Tamil youth aged 28 last Wednesday when he was in the act of extorting money from the principal of school at Thirukovil village, using LTTE's name. The tip off came from the LTTE, the police said.
Civilian sources in the east said Friday there is considerable decrease in the number of robberies and extortions following a warning issued by the Tamil Tigers that paramilitary groups are engaged in anti-social activities in the name of the LTTE with a view to stirring animosity among the local people. Also following the LTTE warning, at Vantharumoolai, Batticaloa and Kallaru, local people arrested several persons involved in extortion and handed then over them to the LTTE.