2ND LEAD [Adds details]

SL police opens fire on Tamil villagers in Batticaloa, two women wounded

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 August 2014, 20:25 GMT]
Two Tamil women were admitted to Batticaloa Teaching Hospital Tuesday night with gunshot injuries after SL policemen, who went in civil to ransack illicit brewers had opened fire on the villagers at Panai-a'ruppaan, located 15 km west of Kokkaddich-choalai. Two Sinhalese policemen and two Tamil men were also rushed to hospital with assault injuries. Only 25 families live in the remote village of Panai-a’ruppaan. Some of these female-headed families have been running illicit ‘kasippu’ breweries after they had lost their husbands and their livelihood. They were not involved in such activity under the LTTE-run civil administration, civil sources in Kokkaddich-choalai told TamilNet on Wednesday. The episode on Tuesday was only a tip of the iceberg, they said.

On Tuesday, 8 Sri Lankan police personnel in civil, including two women constables, had gone to the village around 6:00 p.m. to arrest a woman alleging her for running a illicit brewery.

A son of the woman was opposing the arrest by the police accusing that the police personnel were not in their uniform. The SL police team severely assaulted him. Following the episode, the women in the neighbourhood got together and chased the police team away. In the violent episode, two women were shot and injured. Two policemen and two Tamil males sustained assault injuries. SL military and police troops were rushed to the village.

The angry villagers had also set fire to the vehicle of the police team, which was chased away.

The injured Tamil women were identified as 52-year-old Valliyamma and 24-year-old Sarojini Arumguam by the medical sources at the hospital.

The two Sinhala police constables, who sustained assault-injuries were identified as Weerasinghe (60217) and Wickramasinghe (43029).

The illicit breweries were perceived as a problem only in a business context by the Sri Lankan police and not as a social problem, women rights groups in the district accuse.

The SL policemen and the occupying military that encourage the operation of the pubs in the district, act on behalf of the complaints from the pub owners, the Tamil activists say.


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