9 civilians arrested in Jaffna for curfew violation

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 January 2007, 09:03 GMT]
Consequence to the announcement by Northern region SLA commander E.A.Chandrasiri on Saturday warning the strict enforcement of curfew in the peninsula, nine civilians were arrested within the municipal council area for curfew violation. The arrested civilians were produced by Jaffna police on Sunday before Jaffna Magistrate E.V.Wickremaraja, who ordered them to be detained until 9 February in Jaffna prison under protective custody.

The chief justice (CJ) Sarath N Silva ordered Jaffna region Sri Lanka Army (SLA) commander on Saturday to strictly enforce the overnight curfew, since the CJ had received many complaints of murders, robberies, abduction and arrests during curfew hours, informed sources said. Mr Silva also had instructed that anyone arrested for curfew violation to be produced before courts.

Meanwhile, Silva has also ordered the Jaffna magistrate to arrange for the formation of vigilant groups in all Grama Sevaka (Village level administrator) divisions.

In a meeting was convened on Sunday at the Jaffna Municipal Council secretariat by additional Government Agent A.Sivasamy, the Jaffna district magistrate Mr.Wickremarajah told the regional secretaries and Grama Sevakas to make preparations to form vigilant groups in Jaffna and Nallur divisions, followed by other areas of the peninsula .The magistrate pointed out that the information about the members of the vigilant groups will be made available to both the police and SLA and these groups will operate in the night under police protection.

Since Jaffna residents generally suspect complicity of SLA troops and collaborating paramilitaries in the murders, abduction and disappearances, they fear reprisals from SLA soldiers for getting involved in the vigilant groups.

The armed robbers, in white vans and on foot, move about with ease at night despite the presence of SLA troopers in these areas, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

The SLA, however, says the robberies are carried out to tarnish their reputation. But no one has been arrested by the SLA or the police in connection with the escalating number of robberies, abductions and killings in the peninsula.


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