A 15-strong group of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detectives arrived in Jaffna last night to conduct an urgent probe into a string of incidents that culminated in Wednesday’s attack on the Magistrate’s Court.
The probe will centre on the causes that led to the incidents and whether any ‘anti national’ groups were attempting to destabilise the peninsula. One of the first tasks of the detectives yesterday was to obtain from Police the identities of persons who took part in the attacks. This was after Jaffna Magistrate P. Sivakumar issued an order for those in possession of video footage to hand them over to the Police.
The origins of the incidents, Police believe, were the abduction, rape and brutal murder of 18-year-old schoolgirl Sivaloganathan Vidya from Pungukudutivu, an outlying island off the Jaffna peninsula. Demonstrations and an attack had come on the grounds that the mobs were protesting against this incident. One of those at the centre of the events was V.T. Thamilmaran, an academic teaching law and human rights at the Colombo University.
He was to be a prospective candidate for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at the upcoming parliamentary elections. He told to English media: “I contacted DIG Northern Province Lalith Jayasinghe, a student of mine, and requested immediate action to arrest the criminals.” He said he had also faxed details to the Attorney General. On Monday, Mr. Thamilmaran said he met the Senior DIG, the SSP Jaffna and other officers. He had told them of his intention of visiting his village of Pungudutivu to arrange for a Police-Public dialogue.
They had welcomed the idea. He had gone to make arrangements and was accompanied by two Police officers in plain clothes. The main suspect, Swiss Kumar, and his family were taken to the Jaffna Police Station by the officers. I then learnt that the main suspect had left the police station and had been arrested by the Wellawatte Police. I was able to confirm this through a telephone call, he said. Mr. Thamilmaran said that at the Public-Police discussion, “I asked the Senior DIG who was seated next to me at the head table how it could happen.
He tried to explain it in Sinhala to the audience but by that time they have become restless and started to shout slogans. He said that if there is no direct complaint and evidence against a person he cannot be arrested or held in custody. I translated it into Tamil for those who surrounded us at the time. When the meeting was brought to an abrupt end, the crowd shouted that I cannot leave the place until the suspect is brought back to Pungudutivu.
They alleged that I have assisted him to escape to Colombo.” Several Police officers have since been transferred. CID detectives also want to determine whether political rivals of Mr. Thamilmaran triggered the incident using this episode as a cover. Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe told to English media all state institutions in the Jaffna town area have come under security cover.
This was whilst special teams of the Police Special Task Force (STF) were deployed to maintain law and order. They went aroud with loud hailers asking shop owners to remain open and warned people not to assemble in groups.
Source : PTI