Saw navy men strangling Uthayakumar -daughter

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 March 2001, 17:34 GMT]
"I saw the soldiers beating up my father with a club and he cried out in pain. My brother and I cried when we saw this. Our father told us that he was being taken to the Tharapuram Navy camp and asked us to come there in the morning. The soldiers then took him away. We saw our father being walked down the street later around 10.30 p.m." said Anusiya Uthayakumar, 16, the daughter of the man who was allegedly beaten and strangled to death by Navy personnel who arrested him on the night of February 28, in her evidence in the Mannar court Wednesday. Answering a question by Inspector of Police (Mannar crime branch) S.Abeyawardena during her evidence, Anusiya said that she also saw the naval ratings strangling her father while they were beating him up.

Acting magistrate for Mannar Mr. Emmanuel Caius Feldano heard the case (no. A R 54/01).

In their evidence before the magistrate on Monday, V.E Raveendra S.Harischandra, 23, the sub lieutenant from the Tharapuram Navy camp in Mannar and three ratings who went with him to arrest Uthayakumar on the night of 28 February claimed that they did not assault him at all during the arrest or questioning.

The sub lieutenant said in his evidence that Uthayakumar was arrested on information provided by three informants. He claimed that there was no electricity in the Tharapuram Navy camp when they took Uthayakumar there for questioning and that he attempted to escape when the lamp in the room where they were interrogating him went out. However, according to the sub lieutenant, he and naval rating K.A.S Prasad Kumara, 22, of Matale had overpowered Uthayakumar and brought him back to the room where he had suddenly collapsed, frothing from a corner of his mouth.

"Suspecting that Uthayakumar was suffering from a disease, we took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead" the Navy officer said, adding that they had not assaulted Uthayakumar even when his alleged escape bid was foiled. The sub lieutenant's statement was corroborated by the three naval ratings who gave evidence on Monday.

However, the District Medical Officer for Mannar, Dr.G.Somasekeram, who examined the body of Uthayakumar states in his medical legal report submitted to the courts on 2 March "I am of the opinion the death would have occurred due to Hypoxia following strangulation of the neck". He notes that there is muscle and bone damage in Uthayakumar's neck and bleeding into muscle. His report says that there was bleeding into the mouth and the nostrils.

Continuing her evidence in court, Uthayakumar's daughter Anusiya said "We are from Atchuvely in Jaffna. We were displaced due to army operations in 1997. We have been living in Mannar since then. I have three sisters and three brothers. My father had to chop firewood to eke out a living. My mother went to the Vanni on 16 February to visit one of my sisters who lives there with relatives. As my mother was not at home, my father go out to chop firewood on the evening of 28 February. Eight soldiers came home around 9 p.m. that night. They questioned and chased away a neighbour who had come to listen to the radio news. Then they told my father that they had come to arrest him because they had information that he was involved in smuggling."

She said that a naval rating had woken them up around 3.30 a.m. and told them Uthayakumar would return home in the morning and that they should prepare to welcome him. The rating had given the children a chit in Sinhala which Anusiya said she could not understand as she does not know Sinhala.

The navy personnel said in their evidence on Monday that they had given the Uthayakumar's family a receipt of arrest when they took him into custody.

 

Latest 15 Reports
21.10.19 23:24  
SL Navy silently extends occupation of coastal lands at Kirimichchai in Batticaloa
20.10.19 23:58   Photo
Sinhala supporters of Gotabhaya encroach into pasturelands in Batticaloa
19.10.19 23:31  
Pentagon steps up maritime defence trade with India, UK seeks IOR opportunities
18.10.19 23:43   Photo
Monk backing Gotabhaya wants Tamil owners to stay away from their lands in interior Batticaloa
17.10.19 19:14   Photo
SL Police resorts to violence in grabbing lands of Tamil fishers in Batticaloa North
16.10.19 23:19   Photo
Chennai Connect and Eezham Tamils reminding Tamil Nadu to assert Tamil geopolitics
15.10.19 23:50  
Colombo destroys dairy-farming economy of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=5837