Mystery shrouds Razeek cadre's death

[TamilNet, Friday, 17 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Another soldier of the Razeek group which operates in Batticaloa as an extension of the Sri Lankan army died today under mysterious circumstances. A spokesman of the Razeek group said this afternoon that the soldier, Nadarajah Thevathaas, had been drinking too much arrack in his village of Koolavady on the outskirts of the Batticaloa town this week during the Tamil new year leave.

He said that Thevathaas had been so inebriated that he was found fallen across the railway track near Koolavady in a drunken stupor.

Thevathaas, according to the Razeek group spokesman, had collapsed during a training session this morning and was found dead on admission to the Batticaloa hospital.

However, well informed sources close to the group and the dead soldier's relatives said that Thevathaas had died due to torture.

Differences had developed in recent weeks between him and 'Razeek', the leader of the group, over some arrests and extortion which he (Thevathaas) had opposed for personal reasons.

The Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) at the Batticaloa hospital K.Chandrapalan has observed in his report on the death that Thevathaas had suffered brain damage due to heavy concussions on the head.

Meanwhile, sources close to the group said today that the soldier who, according to the Batticaloa Police, was killed on April 15 by a grenade which accidentally went off had actually committed suicide.

His 3 year old daughter was also killed in the grenade explosion.

His wife who was wounded in the explosion died in the Batticaloa hospital yesterday.

He had had problems with the group's leadership over his refusal to go for further training at the SLA base at Diyatalawa in the central province the sources said.

They said he had taken to heavy drinking as a consequence of these problems.


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