Varathan Group attack injures two civilians

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 December 2002, 11:42 GMT]
Ex-militants of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) currently part of Varathan Group working closely with the Special Task Force (STF) in Araiyampathi, Batticaloa district, attacked and seriously injured two civilians near Mariamman Kovil road Sunday 6.45 pm sources in Batticaloa said.

Sellan Kulendran, a father of three, has been admitted to the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital and Thiyagan Sevagan has been admitted to the Arayampathi Hospital, sources said.

Varathan, Kutty, Tilak and Tharsan, former members of TELO group, are collaborating with the STF as Varathan Group. Residents of Araiyampathi complain of harassment and threats from this group. Varathan group has gained notoriety in attacking suspected sympathizers of the Liberation Tigers (LTTE) and passersby who refuse to do errands for the group.

The illegal activities are carried out with the full knowledge of the STF, residents say. Residents have complained to the local Police station and to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) that they are afraid to venture out in the dark because of the presence of Varathan group armed with knifes and batons.

The Varathan group was expelled from TELO in 2000 after an incident where the group beat up a boy who refused to buy cigarettes for them and buried him while alive. The villagers rescued the boy but he succumbed to injuries a month later.

On 14 August this year, the group attacked and injured Thamiadiyan and Sellathambi Kamalanathan, LTTE cadres who were engaged in political work under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding. All members other than Varathan were arrested but later released on bail.


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