Police attack injures fifteen anti-EPDP picketers

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 December 2002, 11:56 GMT]
At least fifteen civilians were injured Tuesday afternoon in Nelliady, 30km northeast of Jaffna, when Police used tear gas and opened fire with rubber bullets on the picketers in front of the local office of Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP). In a subsequent grenade attack eight persons, were seriously wounded including journalist Mr.V.Thavachelvan. All have been warded in the Point Pedro base hospital, medical sources said.

The EPDP office is located close to the Nelliady Police station and the army camp.

The names of other seven critically injured are:
  • Theivendran Sutharsanam, 27, Nelliady,
  • Kathi Visuvanathan, 46, Karanavai,
  • Kathiravelu Kuhathevan,40, Alvai,
  • Kanthar Balakrishnan, 25, Alvai, Ponnuthurai
  • Arumaithurai,40,Karaveddi ,
  • Vallipuram Mahendran, 48, Alvai and
  • Selvarasa Indrakumar,24,Karaveddy.

The incident took place when several civilians around 12 noon launched a sit-in-protest campaign in front of the EPDP office at Nelliayadi town demanding that they should withdraw from Nedunthivu Island and other places in the peninsula. At one stage heated argument ensued between the public and the Police when the latter tried to disperse the picketers.

Police used baton charge to disperse the the crowd when the situation was getting out of control. Police then used teargas and opened fire using rubber bullets.

A grenade, alleged by sources to have come from the direction of the EPDP office, exploded into the crowd wounding seriously eight persons including journalist Mr. Thavachelvan who was covering the event for an international news agency, sources said.

Several bicycles and motorbikes were damaged during the attack on picketers by the police, civilian sources said.

The police immediately sealed off Nelliady town and ordered the shops. The members of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) rushed to Nelliayadi and had discussions with the LTTE local leaders at the Vadamarachi office.


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