Petty thief gets stitched up

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 February 1999, 22:41 GMT]
Sinnathamby Aarumugam, a minor thief plying his trade in areas north of Valaichenai, 32 kilometers north of Batticaloa, was apprehended and tied to a pole by the SLA at Vaakarai junction last evening. He was made to shout "I shall no longer steal in the name of LTTE".

The alleged thief was arrested by an SLA party that rounded up his house upon a complaint by people from the village of Kayankerni who had been relieved of their gold jewellery, money and bicycles by Sinnathamby two days ago.

The nineteen year old Sinnathamby had been a helper to the Liberation Tigers when they were in control of vast Vaakarai region north of Valaichenai.

He was shirked off by the Tigers when they had found that he was given to petty thieving. But soon after the SLA moved into Vaakarai on August 22 last year, Sinnathamby befriended the army and became a spotter in due course.

Many people in Vaakarai with whom he had problems were arrested by the SLA and assaulted on information provided by him. He was now living in the SLA camp. Sinnathamby's main duty here was to spot Tigers and their sympathisers in Vaakarai.

But as months passed by he grew tired of his menial position in the SLA and hence ran away from the Vaakarai detachment.

Three days ago, Sinnathamby went to the village of Kayankerni, 7 kilometers north of Valaichenai, and convinced some people here who had known him vaguely earlier that he had come on behalf of the Liberation Tigers to take funds in cash and kind from them.

The next day having collected gold jewellery, cycles, cash and other valuables, he had set off to Vaakarai.

Many villagers in Kayankerni who were suspicious of Sinnathamby's claims had gone to Vaakarai and lodged a complained with the SLA.

The army had immediately gone to his village, Thattumunai, 2 kilometers west of Vaakarai, and arrested the thief. His wife had revealed the place where the stolen goods were hidden. Sinnathamby is now in the SLA's custody said residents.

However, they added that greater thieves than Sinnathamby continue to ply their trade with impunity under the army because they are members of Tamil paramilitary groups.


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