North shuts down in protest to killings of students, killer-policemen transferred to Anuradhapura

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 October 2016, 17:58 GMT]
Eezham Tamils in the Northern province on Tuesday observed a full-day shutdown in protest against the deployment of armed Sinhala policemen in the streets of occupied Tamil homeland. Heeding to the call coming from the Tamil political parties following the brutal killings of two Tamil students of Jaffna University by Sinhala policemen on Thursday last week, all the businesses, academic institutions, public offices and even pharmacies and petrol sheds were shut down. No one, except those, who engaged in marking their protests by blocking the roads, were seen on the streets. Although the shut-down was largely peaceful, there were some clashes between Tamil youth and Sinhala policemen at Ki’linochchi, where an Indian-operated and US-funded garments company, which is alleged of exploiting Tamil labourers, refused to heel the call for the protest until the Citizens’ Committee intervened.

SL Police at Ki'linochchi
SL policemen confronting Tamil youth at Ki'linochchi Tuesday evening

SL Police at Ki'linochchi
SL Police at Ki'linochchi
Tamil youth angered by the behaviour of the policemen who were invited to the site by the garments company, started to burn tires and blocked the Sinhalese travelling on the A9 Road.

There was also another incident in which stones were thrown at a government bus.

In the meantime, the five Sinhala policemen remanded in Jaffna following the killings, have been transferred to Anuradhapura prison as the police argued that they could be subjected to assault by Tamil prisoners if detained at the prisons of Jaffna or Vavuniyaa.

The Sinhala policemen have also seized CCTV recordings from private owners at the site of the crime. Informed legal sources told TamilNet that the SL Police has demanded the owners of the business to hand over the evidence to them at gunpoint.

The police has only submitted the motorbike to the courts so far. The bullets, guns and other crucial evidence material are yet to be handed over to the courts, legal sources further said.

The victim students have been subjected to a hate crime by the Sinhala policemen at Kokkuvil, close friends of the students alleged. The incident sees to be a premeditated act of vengeance by police as there was sudden deployment of policemen at the site a few minutes ahead of the shooting incident, they said. It is possible that policemen at Thaavadi point had informed the post at Kokkuvil about the arrival of the motorbike.

A Sinhala policeman named Chandana was the one who opened fire at the students, according to sources close to the SL Police in Jaffna. Along with him four other Sinhala policemen named Sarath Thissa, Jeyawaradene, Lakamal and Navaratne have been detained.

The students of Jaffna University have urged complete shutdown of education activities until proper investigations are carried out. Most of the students from remote places staying in the hostel have left home as the education activities are at a standstill following the killings on Thursday.



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