Rampage in Jaffna over rape  and killing of schoolgirl


By Norman Palihawadana  and Madura Ranwala

 Jaffna police backed by security forces yesterday quelled violent protests in the Jaffna peninsula over recent rape and killing of a schoolgirl. The police identified the victim as S. Vithiya (18).

Riot police fired tear gas when some protesters threw stones at the Jaffna Magistrate court. The police arrested 127 persons for pelting stones at the Jaffna police station. Police headquarters said that an ASP was among five police officers wounded in clashes.

An emotionally driven crowd of about five hundred comprising mainly students had started attacking the police stations and the court, Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara told The Island last night.

 Police have so far arrested nine suspects over the rape and killing of schoolgirl of Pungudutivu Tamil Maha Vidyalaya. Protesters demanded that the suspects be handed over to them or face the consequences.

 ASP Gunasekara said that the violent protesters had demanded the police to execute the suspects inside the police station and not to follow the due process.

 A chaotic situation prevailed in Jaffna town with public transport almost coming to a halt.

The police were forced to fire tear gas to control the protestors as the situation was getting out of hand. 

Two policemen had to be hospitalised after being hit by stones thrown by the protestors who divided into two groups and agitated opposite the police station and the courts.

 One of the suspects in the gruesome killing of the schoolgirl was taken into custody by the CID in Wellawatte on Monday.

 The Police Spokesman said the CID had already been sent to North to conduct a full investigation into the killing.

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