SLA trooper killed civilian in close range, says NESOHR

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 January 2006, 13:11 GMT]
North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESHOR) in a case report released Friday, said it had uncovered evidence that Mr Murugesu, 68, was killed by shots fired from close range. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) had claimed earlier that gun had gone off accidentally killing the victim.

PDF IconNESOHR Report on killing of Mr Murugesu in Point Pedro

"SLA claimed that Murugesu was shot from behind. However the bullet wounds on Murugesu’s body indicate that he was shot from the side. The wounds also indicate that he was shot at close range because the bullet has left the body on the opposite side. Witnesses added that there were five bullet marks on the wall on the side of the road opposite to where the SLA soldiers were standing at the spot where Murugesu was shot. These bullet marks on the wall could not have been made if Murugesu was shot from behind," the NESOHR report said.

"The police was told of the killing but they did not arrive for the inquest until midday on the following day. On the following day, before the magistrate arrived for the inquest, a group of SLA soldiers arrived and called for the family members of Murugesu. SLA instructed the family members to blame the shooting of Murugesu on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Family members informed the magistrate of this during the inquest and the magistrate noted it in his report," NESOHR report added.

Mr. Murugesu, a retired Post Master, was shot dead 200 meters south of 1st mile post along the Jaffna Point-Pedro road, Thursday 12 January at 1 p.m.

The victim from Thunnalai North, Karaveddy, was returning home in a bicycle after collecting his monthly pension when he was killed, civil sources said.

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