Shutdown paralyses Kaaththaankudi

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 February 2008, 13:28 GMT]
A shutdown launched Thursday in Kaaththaankudi in Batticaloa district in protest against activities of Suffi sect Muslims by orthodox Muslims paralyzed Kaaththaankudi, with all private and public institutions closed, sources in Kaaththaankudi said. The protest was triggered by the return of Sufi sect Muslims who visited their head quarters in Kaaththaankudi with heavy police escort, following the verdict of Colombo Supreme Court in favour of their writ application requesting rights to engage in their religious activities in Kaaththaankudi, the sources added.

Policemen in large numbers were deployed along Kaaththaankudi Main Street while all private and public institutions including schools, shops and market remained closed.

The remains of M. S. Abdul Payilvan, a leader of the Suffi sect were interned last year in his head office amidst vehement protests by the orthodox Muslims.

The orthodox Muslims launched a shut down protest which lasted for ten days.

The Special Judge from Colombo, Mohamed Isardeen, after holding inquiries 15 December 2006 morning, ordered Payilvan's remains to be exhumed and interred in the common Muslim Burial grounds.

The Judge also directed the Police to demolish the Tharikathul Muflieen building of the Suffi sect as it had been built without the necessary permission of Kathankudy Town Council.

Following this incident around 250 members of the Suffi sect left Kaaththaankudi and lived in other villages until they returned Thursday to Kaaththaankudi and visited their sect head office with police escort.

They went back to their present residences after visiting their head office in Kaaththaankudi.

The Muslim Ullama Board, the Muslim Religious Authority in Sri Lanka, had declared that the Suffi sect members were not true Muslims but converts.

Orthodox Muslims of Kaathhtaankudi consistently maintain that the Suffi sect members should not be allowed to engage in any activity in Kaaththaankudi.

Postal voting in Kaathaankudi was interrupted by Thursday shut down but transport services in the area functioned normally.


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