Hartal observed in Batticaloa Muslim areas

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 November 2007, 02:37 GMT]
Residents of Muslim areas in Batticaloa district observed Tuesday the shut down called by the Federation of Mosques in Batticaloa district demanding the immediate release of a Muslim trader abducted Wednesday in Chiththaandi area, allegedly by Karuna paramilitary group, sources in Batticaloa said. The protesters marched from Oattamaavadi Bazar mosque to Maavadicheanai mosque.

Government offices, private establishments, schools, shops, banks and other institutions in the Muslim regions in Batticaloa district including Oattamaavadi, Vaazhaichcheanai, Ea'raavoor. Kaaththaankudi remained shut Tuesday.

Transport was affected in Batticaloa district due to the hartal.

The protesters held placards written with slogans including, 'Karuna don't harass the Muslims!', 'Release abducted trader!', 'Don't suppress the Muslims!', 'Allow Muslims to live peacefully!' and 'Don't rob the rights of Muslims!'

The demonstrators handed an appeal to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Kalkudaa region Commander and the Regional Secretaries in Batticaloa district.

The copies of the appeal were faxed to 22 Muslim parliamentarians in Sri Lanka parliament.

Unidentified armed men way laid and abducted Mohamed Kasim Riyal, 30, a Muslim trader Wednesday morning at Chanthivea'li Main Road in Vaazhaichcheanai police division in Batticaloa.



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