Two Muslim men arrested over Sainthamaruthu abduction

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 August 2003, 18:37 GMT]
Two Muslim arms traders have been arrested and remanded in connection with the disappearance of two other Muslim youths in the south-eastern district of Ampara on August 18. The Kalmunai Magistrate, Mr.M.P.Mohideen, remanded the two suspects, Mr. Mohamed Aliyar Fowzie, a Samurdhi officer, and Mr. Mohideen Bawa Hussein, a cattle trader, till September 8, when the police produced them in court Monday.

The special police team that has been detailed to investigate into the disappearance of the two youths, Mr. Ibrahim Ilyas and Mr. Thambilebbe Mahroof, of Sainthamaruthu, arrested the two suspects from a Muslim village, Oddamavadi, legal sources said.

The two Sainthamaruthu Muslim youths had gone missing when they went to buy a three-wheeler in Valaichchenai, according to earlier reports the police received. The disappeared Muslim youths had purchased a T-56 assault rifle from the suspects, according to police sources.

The police said that the investigations have revealed that the suspects had been involved in arms smuggling and sale of illegal weapons.

The special police team is conducting further inquiry into the alleged illegal arms smuggling and sale by a group of persons in the area, the police said

The alleged abduction of these Muslim youths had created tension in Amparai district between Tamils and Muslims. Furthermore, several Muslim political leaders had blamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for the abduction.

The LTTE, however, denied any involvement and blamed anti-peace elements for attempting to derail the current process.

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21.08.03   Hartal in Muslim areas in Ampara


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