Shot youth was civilian: inquest

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 December 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Police from the detachment at Jayanthipuram which is a suburb of Batticaloa town shot dead a youth identified as Kirupananthan Arulanantham, 19 around 7.30 p.m. last night. The youth was returning home in Punnai Cholai, a village by the lagoon on the outskirts of the Batticaloa town, when the Jayanthipuram Police had shot at him, killing him on the spot.

The youth's body was handed over to the Batticaloa hospital by the Police which claimed it was that of a member of the LTTE.

However, Mr. K. Thiyagarajah, acting magistrate, who held the inquest on Kirupananthan's killing this afternoon issued a verdict that the youth was a civilian.

Incidents like this where the Sri Lankan security forces kill civilians and claim that they are members of the LTTE are reported regularly in the Batticaloa district.

The trend has also been noted in Jaffna in recent times.

Bodies which are handed over to the ICRC or brought to hospitals by the Sri Lankan security forces on the claim that these belong to LTTE personnel killed in confrontations have turned out to be those of civilians.

On Dec.1, a youth identified as Rasarathinam Yogarajah, 18, was returning home after dark in Mahiloor, about thirty kilometers south of Batticaloa, when he was shot dead by the STF which claimed the next day that it had killed an LTTE member.

It came to light later that the boy was a labourer from a very poor family in the village.

Another youth was shot by the STF in the same village earlier. The ICRC refused to accept his body after making inquiries from the LTTE.


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