Four injured in sectarian violence at Kathankudy

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 08 November 2006, 07:57 GMT]
Unidentified armed men, alleged to be orthodox Muslims, in a white van lobbed hand grenades and opened fire Tuesday around 8:00 p.m on Abdur Rauf Moulawi, the Islamic religious teacher belonging to Sufi sect, and some others standing in front of his office near Kathankudy Bathriya Mosque in Batticaloa district injuring four, said Kathankudy police.

Ideological conflicts between the orthodox Muslims and the Sufi sect, two rival Islamic sectarian groups in Kathankudy, were the reason for this attack, added the police.

Abdur Rauf Mowlavi, a leader of Sufi Islamic sect, escaped without any injuries.

The injured men are being treated at Kathankudy and Baticaloa hospitals.

Abdur Rauf Mowlavi's critics say that his teachings have borrowed from Hinduism and is the work of Muslims of Tamil Nadu origin, settled in Kattankudy.

The Sufi sect charges that a Wahabi extremist group funded by powerful sources in the Middle East is responsible for targeting Sufi followers.

During the Ramadan fasting last month, a police curfew was enforced at Kathankudy for more than six days triggered by clashes between the two rival Islamic groups culminating in fights, damages to houses and arson. Kathankudy Muslims were unable to attend prayers at the mosque due to the unrest.

A conference arranged by Deputy Director for Police in Batticaloa early October participated by representatives of Ulama Council and the Islamic Sufi sect ended without reaching any compromise.

Sympathizers to the Kattankudy Jammiyathul Ulama Council and Federation for Kattankudy Mosques and other Organizations placed 10 demands to the Sufi sect led by Abdur Rauf Mowlavi.

The demands included respecting the rules and regulations of Kattankudy Jammiyathul Ulama Council, stopping the radio broadcast and publishing the newspaper run by them and giving compensation to the houses damaged.

Kathankudy residents said they fear the Tuesday attack may lead to more violent confrontations between the rival groups.

Investigations into the attack are being conducted by Kathankudy police.

 

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