Villagers say being harassed

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 August 1999, 13:21 GMT]
Two villagers have been abducted in Aandiyaapuliyankulam, an interior Muslim village in the Cheddikulam Division in the Vavuniya District last week, said sources.

On August 5, a shopkeeper S.M. Mohammed, was abducted around midnight by gunmen whom the villagers claim belong to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA).

The next day day, N.Zuhair, a farmer, who went to his field has not returned yet, the villagers said. They claimed that things found at the spot where Zuhair went missing indicated that a group of SLA may have been there. Zuhair may also have been abducted they said.

Following the incidents, ten families have left the village out of fear. There are about 214 families in Aandiyapuliyankulam.

Meanwhile residents of Katkaarankulam have complained to the Cheddikulam Divisional Secretary (DS)that they are being harassed by the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) and the SLA. The village of Katkaaramkulam is a housing scheme in the Cheddikulam division southwest of Vavuniya.

Recently the president of the village Development Council, Paalaiya Thevar Nagachandiraraja and Perumal Ratnarajah were arrested and detained by the SLA and later made to sign up every week at the Cheddikulam CSU camp.

The CSU is coercing the two men to sign a document that they had provided food to the Liberation Tigers according to the villagers.

The CSU had questioned and threatened people in the village. The villagers have complained to the DS that they will have to leave the village if the harassment continues.


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