Muslim, Sinhala shops burnt in Mutur

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 May 2001, 10:57 GMT]
Twelve shops were gutted by fire Sunday night at Mutur town in Trincomalee district. Police said that no one knew who started the burning of shops, some of which they said belonged to Sinhala traders and others to Muslims. The Mutur Police Station is situated about 50 meters from the scene of incident.

Residents said that around 12 midnight an explosion was heard in the town. Thereafter several shops were seen on fire. The destroyed shops were situated in Main Street between the Zonal Education Office and government hospital.

Senior Superintendent of Police Trincomalee H.Beddewela rushed to Mutur to conduct inquiries into this incident.

The Police took a Muslim youth said to be the President of the Iraq Sports Club in Mutur into custody over this incident.

The suspect is alleged to have issued a statement Saturday condemning the Mawanella violence against Muslim traders that took place last week.

Local Muslim leaders now demand the immediate release of the suspect.

Meanwhile the Senior Superintendent of Police held a conference at the Divisional Secretary's Office Monday morning. Police officials, Divisional Secretary and religious leaders participated at the conference. Several measures were suggested to diffuse the tension

At the conference it was decided to request the traders to do their business as usual. The Police guaranteed protection for all traders.


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