Magistrate directs police to consider arrest of soldier suspects in Thavasikku'lam killings

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 November 2007, 15:51 GMT]
Vavuniyaa magistrate M. Ilancheliyan Friday directed the police to consider arresting Sri Lanka Army soldiers who were on duty at Veappangku'lam SLA detachment on November 03 between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. Five young Tamil males who were allegedly arrested by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) that day were found shot dead the following morning at Thavasikku'lam. The parents of the slain youths have told the magistrate that there were many witnesses who saw their sons being arrested and taken by SLA troops. The magistrate has earlier directed that the assault rifles of 49 soldiers, including that of the commander of the detachment, be sent to government analyst department for examination.

The Magistrate made the suggestion following the evidence provided by the wife of a slain victim that her husband, Yathukaran, had told her by in a mobile telephone conversation that he had been asked by the Veappangku'lam SLA soldiers to come to the camp with them and that he was being held by the "Veappangu'lam personnel".

The Magistrate said that Yathukaran statement to his wife by cell-phone could be taken as his deposition according to Section 32 of the Evidence Ordinance.

He cited three judgements-Sri Lankan State Vs Mudalihamy, Sri Lankan State Vs Marshal Appuhamige and Pahala Narayanasamy Vs Indian state in his support.

"Hence I direct the Deputy Inspector General of Police and Senior Superintendent of Police to look into the possibility of arresting those soldiers on duty according to the law and determinations made by the Supreme Court in earlier cases," said the Magistrate.

The court further directed the Vanni Regional Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Vanni SLA commander to look into the question of providing necessary assistance to the police to arrest the suspected soldiers.

The direction issued by the Magistrate was on the same day sent to the DIG and Vanni SLA regional commander in writing, legal sources said.

The police at the commencement of the inquiry submitted its report on the investigation conducted so far into these murders.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Magistrate Ilancheliyan directed that rifles of 34 soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) located at Veappangku'lam detachment be sent to government analyst for report whether the 16 spent bullets found at the scene of crime had been fired by these weapons. Already, fifteen rifles of SLA soldiers including the Commander of the Veappangku'lam SLA detachment had been sent to government analyst department for examination.


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