Hartal paralyses Jaffna district

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 December 2002, 15:08 GMT]
All activities in the Jaffna district came to a standstill and normal life was disrupted Thursday as Hartal (general shut down) was observed in protest to the attack by the Police on unarmed civilians picketing against the presence of para military Eelam Peoples Democratic party (EPDP) in Nedunthivu and other places in the peninsula Tuesday, sources said.

All government offices including Jaffna district secretariat were closed and shops were shut down. Most of the roads were deserted as there were no bus services and vehicular movement.

In the meantime the Jaffna Magistrate Mr.R.T.Viknarajah Thursday afternoon instructed the prison officials to remove the manacles from the suspects who are warded in the Jaffna teaching hospital with injuries alleged to have been caused due to assault by the police after their arrest Tuesday.

The Police Tuesday evening arrested twelve civilians for violent behaviour on the day when they were picketing the Nelliady office of the EPDP. Five were later warded in the Jaffna teaching hospital with injuries. But the suspects were being treated at the hospital while being manacled.

Several civilians Thursday entered the hospital and demanded the prison officials to remove. When the prison authorities refused to remove the manacles, the matter was brought to the notice of the Magistrate who directed the prison officials not to manacle suspects while in hospital.

In another development, a team of high police officials accompanied by Hindu Affairs Minister Mr. T.Maheswaran Thursday held a conference at the Nelliady police station and conducted inquiry into the complaint made by civilians that the Police on Tuesday forcibly entered shops and fired at traders without any provocation.

Representatives of Nelliady Traders Association also attended the conference. The delegation of traders association told the Deputy Inspector General of Police Mr.P.M.Premaretna that the police personnel who had been involved in the attack on civilians are still working in Nelliady Police station. Until they are removed shops in the area could not be opened, traders' delegation stressed.

Police officials informed traders that action has already been taken to record the statements of those injured due to police assault in the Jaffna town police station.

The traders later agreed to re-open shops from Friday on assurance by the Police that investigation into the assault will be conducted, sources said.

 

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