EPDP cadre shot dead in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 June 2003, 10:52 GMT]
Ponniah Ramachandran (42), a member of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) and a father of three children, was shot dead by unknown gunmen around 11am Sunday along the Batticaloa-Kallady Thiruchenthoor Road, security sources in Batticaloa said.
Ramachandran is originally from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled Vakarai area but left Vakarai to first join the Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and then was operating as a member of EPDP, according ex-militant sources.
He works as a political operative at the EPDP office and was on his way to his home in Kallady when two unknown youths shot him at point blank range. Ramachandran died instantly, according to Police sources. Seven bullets wounds were found in his body. A grenade was also exploded at the murder site, accordind to Police sources.
His body was taken to Batticaloa Teaching Hospital and is being kept there for postmortem examinations. Batticaloa Police are conducting investigations.
Ramachandran was preparing to stand for the forthcoming council elections on the 25th as an EPDP candidate, according to ex-militant sources.
Head of Batticaloa district EPDP, Paranitharan Prathipan, blamed the LTTE for the killing and said that three EPDP members have been killed in Batticaloa district in recent weeks. LTTE denied any responsibility for the killing.