Brazen robberies in Suthumalai
[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Suthumalai in Jaffna has become a thief's paradise with a spate of burglaries occurring recently in the area which is under Sri Lanka Army (SLA) jurisdiction.
On Wednesday, February 3, a group of six persons knocked on the door of a house near the Madaththadi Pillaiyaar Kovil demanding it be opened.
When the occupants refused, the visitors claimed they were soldiers on a search operation. They reassured everyone in the house that they meant no harm. The door was opened and in walked four persons, while two others stood guard outside.
They were all clad in military fatigues and carried guns which "looked real".
They ordered the inmates of the house to assemble in a room with their identity cards, and walked in to check the inner rooms.
After having carried out a diligent 'check' they reappeared, thanked the occupants profusely for their co-operation and walked away, but not before apologising for the mess they had created by turning the contents of the cupboards topsy-turvy.
It was only after they had gone that the inmates realised that 25,000 rupees in cash which was in the house had been burgled.
By then the robbers with their toy guns and loot had fled. On February 6, thieves entered the Puveneswary Ambal Temple through the roof and plundered the jewels on the statues of God Pillaiyar Goddess Ambal, and a very expensive gold plate at the foot of the statue.
They then turned their attention on the temple's till and made away with all the money in it too. The total haul is estimated to be worth rupees 200,000. The temple authorities have complained to the Sri Lanka Army.