Spectre of abductions scare Batticaloa residents

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 April 2008, 13:04 GMT]
More than 300 Tamil youths from areas ranging from Poththuvil to Vaazhaichcheanai have been abducted in Batticaloa district in the past, allegedly by Special Task Force (STF) commandos and paramilitary groups, according to figures registered with Batticaloa Human Rights Commission (HRC) by the relatives of the missing. Of the 300 reported cases, eleven persons in January, eleven in February and fourteen in March are reported missing this year, HRC sources said. Most of the persons have gone missing in areas near government controlled Batticaloa city.

Only three of the persons reported missing in January have been found again, the sources added.

The police do not show any interest at all about the complaints of abductions made to them, the relatives of the abductees said.

Complaints of abductions from places like Ka’luthaavalai, Ka’luvaangchikkudi, Naavtkudaa, Kalladi, Aaraiyampathi, Ea’raavoor and Vaazhaichcheanai have been lodged with Police stations and with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC).

Armed men who come to houses in the nights have taken away persons saying they are to be interrogated while persons who had gone out to work or on personal errands have mysteriously disappeared, local residents said.

Many motor cyclists have been stopped on the roads by armed gangs and forcibly abducted or arrested, they added.

STF commandos from Ka’luvaangchikkudi and Chedipaa'layam have abducted many Tamil youths, according to residents in these areas.

STF authorities, however, have denied the accusation against them.

The police in Batticaloa do not conduct investigations of the abductions reported to them and are disinterested, the complainants said.

Armed men have forcibly taken away nearly 17 newly-purchased motor cycles during nights and from their owners on roads in the evenings.

The abductions had escalated sharply since STF forces were posted in Batticaloa, the residents said.

The paramilitary personnel operating in Batticaloa district are accused of forced conscription.

 

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