House owner shot dead in Jaffna during curfew hours

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 January 2007, 13:35 GMT]
More than eight unidentified armed robbers shot dead the owner of a house in Poothavarayar temple at Thirunelveli east near Jaffna town Saturday around 11:00 p.m during Sri Lanka Army (SLA) imposed curfew hours. The armed men opened fire, when the neighbours rushed to apprehend the robbers on hearing shouts from house owners, eye witnesses said.

Mahalingam Vigneswaran, 40, a teacher at Puthur Somaskanda College and the owner of the house, died with gunshot wounds.

Cash, jewellery and properties costing many millions of rupees have been robbed in the last two weeks, mainly from houses in Jaffna town, Nallur and Chunnakam which are within the direct surveillance of the SLA, and during curfew hours.

The armed robbers, in white vans and on foot, move about with ease despite the presence of SLA troopers in these areas, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

Unidentified armed men using similar white vans have abducted many youths during curfew hours in the Jaffna peninsula.

Many robberies from the houses in the neighbourhood of Vigneswaran's house had also been reported.

The SLA says these robberies are carried out to tarnish their reputation. But no one has been arrested by the SLA or the police in connection with the escalating number of robberies, abductions and killings in the peninsula.


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