SLA trooper present during Katkovalam killing- NESOHR

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 January 2006, 16:45 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) trooper identified as Jegath was one of the men who shot to death Iyathurai Baskaran, 27, on 6 January in Kudathanai, NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR) said in the case history released Sunday. The NESHOR report produced after interviews with residents and relatives of the deceased said, armed SLA soldiers stood guard at the adjoining houses while a group of men including Jegath went to Baskaran's house to commit the murder.

PDF IconNESOHR Case History on Katkovalam killing

"Few months prior to his shooting, Baskaran’s family and his parents moved to Katkovalam, unable to bear the harassment by the Sri Lankan military and the local paramilitaries in Kudaththanai...Baskaran was unable to go fishing in Katkovalam because he had the “pass” to fish only in Kudaththanai and not in Katkovalam. He had thereforestarted to go to work as a builder in Katkovalam. His wife had advised him to go to Vanni because of the threats and harassment by the SLA. Baskaran had refused to leave his aging parents because there was no one else to take care of them. That night, however, the family went to bed considering more seriously about a shift to Vanni," NESOHR's report said.

On 5th January, SLA had rounded up Baskaran' house and questioned him. "SLA searched the house premises, including the belongings of Baskaran’s children, for a long time. They were there from 5.30 until 8.30 pm. SLA accused Baskaran of belonging to LTTE and of possessing Claymore mines. Baskaran told them that he does not get involved in anything like that. He begged the SLA to inquire from the neighbours. When the SLA finally left they warned that the family that they must report any visit by the LTTE to their home," said the report describing the events of the day before the shooting.

The report said, on the 6th January, a group of men entered his house at 11 p.m. and shot him dead after his wife had gone inside the room to bring his children.

NESOHR's secretary, Dr Malathy further adds: "International diplomats, media personnel and INGO staff in the island have asked us why we have not issued reports on the attacks on the Sri Lankan military. We are surprised by this question. NESOHR is styled as a national human rights organization and its main task is to protect the human rights of those who are unarmed. For this reason we do not bring under our purview the attacks on armed persons like the Sri Lankan military, members of the LTTE and members of other armed groups.

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