Tamil man dies in police custody

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Seevarathnam Sivarasa who was arrested in Vavuniya and detained at the Mt. Lavinia Police station in Colombo in connection with the discovery of weapons allegedly belonging to the LTTE in Ratmalana died last night in the Colombo general hospital.

He was admitted to the general hospital by the Sri Lankan Police.

Sivarasa was taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Police in Vilathikulam in Vavuniya following the arrest of several people recently over the alleged LTTE plan to attack the Ratmalana airbase near Colombo.

Legal sources said the arrest had been based on evidence that could have been incidental.

He was then brought to the Mt. Lavinia Police station. Policemen from this station were rewarded by the government for discovering an arms cache which they claimed as belonging to the LTTE which according to them had intended to use it on a commando raid on the Ratmalana Sri Lanka Airforce Base.

A human rights lawyer in Colombo said today that the circumstances under which Seevarathnam Sivarasa died have to be investigated.

He was arrested and held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Sources in Vavuniya alleged today that excessive torture by the Police might have been the reason for Seevarathnam's death.


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