Soldiers suspected of assault

[TamilNet, Sunday, 03 January 1999, 12:25 GMT]
Four unidentified men, believed to be members of the Sri Lankan security forces, severely assaulted the Treasurer of the Mannar Citizen’s Committee, Sam Ratnarajah (60), at his textile shop in the town last evening around 4 pm, said sources.

The assault followed an argument he had had with security forces personnel at the Residential Pass Issuing office in Mannar about an hour earlier, during which the soldiers had threatened him, said the sources.

Four men concealing their faces with black cloths had entered his textile shop and assaulted him, subsequently, said sources.

Ratnarajah's wife who had tried to stop the attack was pushed away by the attackers. Ratnarajah is being treatment for cuts and bruises.

Sources said when Ratnarajah had gone to the security forces’ office to obtain a residential pass for one his relatives, the soldiers at the gate had asked him to put up his hands in order to search his body.

Ratnarajah, according to the sources, had told the soldiers that he was an elderly person and he did not need to be treated like a criminal. An argument between him and the soldiers had ensued.

Ratnarajah complained to the Civil Affairs Officer that the soldiers at the gate had threatened him. The Officer had acted immediately and had warned the soldiers concerned, said sources.

When Ratnarajah returned after obtaining the 'pass' the same soldiers at the entrance had threatened him and tried to assault him.

Sam Ratnarajah made a complaint to the Civil Affairs Officer for the second time, saying that he was frightened because the soldiers at the gate were trying to assault him.

Thereupon, he was accompanied by a Military Policeman who was on duty there.

However, as soon as he had returned to his shop in Mannar town, the four men had come to the shop and assaulted him.

 

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