Armed gangs rob houses in Jaffna at gun point

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 June 2008, 02:51 GMT]
Unidentified armed men on more than five motorcycles robbed millions of rupees worth jewelry and money during curfew hours at gun point from a house in Vaddukkoddai and another in Kokkuvil area Tuesday night, sources in Jaffna said. Earlier, Sunday night, during curfew hours, armed men on motor cycles assaulted a Saiva priest in Kokkuvil and set fire to the vehicles of another Saiva priest in Koa’ndaavil when their attempts to rob the houses of the priests failed.

The armed men had first surrounded the houses Tuesday night around 11:30 p.m, claiming that they have come to conduct a cordon and search operation and then had robbed the owners of the houses at gun point.

The house owners have lodged complaints at the local police stations.

The robberies by armed gangs riding on more than five motorcycles together creating great noise during curfew hours in areas where Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops are posted and on patrol, have further raised fear and insecurity among residents, civil society sources said.

Humanitarian organizations in Jaffna and the general public said that these armed gangs cannot operate so brazenly without the support and involvement of the SLA troops.

An unidentified armed gang during a robbery attempt Sunday in Kokkuvil and Koa’ndaavil areas close to Jaffna town at 12:30 a.m. during curfew hours, severely assaulted the priest of a Saiva temple at his house in Pottpathi Veethi in Kokkuvil when the priest tried to confront the robbers.

The armed gang had also tried to rob the house of another Saiva temple priest in Koa’ndaavil and when he refused to come out of the house the gang set fire to his motorcycle and other vehicles parked outside.


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