Batticalo councillor arrested

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 16 December 1998, 17:20 GMT]
Rasaiah Prabhaharan a member of the Batticaloa Municipal Council was arrested by the Sri Lankan Army and was severely beaten by soldiers in public before being handed over to a special Police investigation unit this morning.

Police sources in Batticaloa said that he was taken into custody by the army in connection with an explosion in the transformer near Prabhaharan's office on Govindan Road in the town.

The Batticaloa Mayor Mr.Cheliyan Perinbanayagam and Municipal Commissioner Mr. S. Navaneethan said that as Mr. Prabhaharan was not arrested in his capacity as a member of the Municipal Council there was little they could do.

A cadre of his group was killed last year while attempting to blow up another transformer device in Batticaloa.

The army has since suspected a collusion between the Liberation Tigers who control the western hinterland of district and Prabhaharan's group which he claims is the EROS (the now defunct EROS faction in Colombo disowned him).

The arrested councillor is from south-eastern town of Akkaraippattu and was formerly a cadre of the EROS.

He was elected as an independent candidate with two of his colleagues to the Batticaloa Municipal Council in 1994 March with the support of the SLA and the Police.

Prabhaharan has been accused of robbery, extortion and encroachment in the past.

The SLA supplied him weapons for protection and for helping it with anti-LTTE operations.

 

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