On Wednesday, a tense situation prevailed at the Jaffna Court premises when some protestors stoned the court building and the police over an incident where an 18-year-old girl was gang raped and killed at Punguditivu in Jaffna. The protesters stoned the court for not handing over the suspects to them and urged the authorities to do so for . Police fired tear gas to disperse the angry protestors.
The Tragic Incident
It was on May 13, Wednesday. Vidhya Sivaloganathan who was a student of Mathiya Maha Vithyalayam in Pungudutheevu, Jaffna left the home at aroud 7 am to school. By the end of the school day, she still hadn’t returned to her home. After 4.30 pm her family felt worried that their daughter was missing for so long. They contacted her school and asked her friends which was when they realised that Vidhya had never gone to school on that day.
Worried about their daughter’s whereabouts, the family went to the police station. The police implied that she may have run away from home and told the family to go home and search for her on their own. It was only after 11pm on that day, the police decided to act on the complaint about the missing girl.
Search For Sister
The next morning her brother searched for her sister on the route she took from school to come home. During his search, he discovered one of her slippers in a location known as the 8th area of Pungudutheevu. Thereafter he followed the trail to a remote jungle area and found the body of his sister. It was a gruesome sight.
Her legs were spread apart and were tied to two different trees and her hand was tied up to her head with her school tie and her mouth gagged with a piece of cloth. Her brother was shocked and when he saw her sister and he shouted out. Soon the villagers had gathered at the scene. Police arrived at the place and recovered the body of Vidhya and send her body to a postmortem.
Police Investigation & Arrests
During police inquiries, three brothers were arrested based on information from the victim’s mother, Sivaloganathan Saraswathi. In the past, Vithya’s mother had witnessed a robbery committed at a doctor’s house by the suspects. It is believed that the suspects committed the crime as an act of revenge.
Based on the statements of the three brothers, five others were arrested the next day. One worked in the Pradeshiya Sabha office of the area while the other four were employed in Colombo. On the day of the incident, the suspects had arrived in Pungudutheevu from Colombo.
It was here they had planned the gang rape and murder of Vidhya. Soon afterwards, they left to Colombo. Thereafter again they came to Pungudutheevu and participated in Vidhya’s funeral. After the funeral they tried to return to Colombo but they were arrested by police.
Swiss National Mahalingam Sasikumar Caught & Arrested
The same night, a Swiss national was caught by people in Pungudutheevu but there were no complaints against him in the police. After the intervention of the deputy minister of women’s affairs in the area and a prominent lawyer, the Swiss national was released by villagers people and he escaped to Colombo. The Swiss suspect was arrested on 19th at Wellawatta after UNP Jaffna head Dhuvarageshwaran’s complaint in Jaffna Police.