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Drunk police officers severely injure Tamil youngsters in unprovoked attack

A young Tamil man from Jaffna among several other youngsters, were brutally attacked by drunk off-duty police officers and viciously dragged to the local police station.

23-year-old Mutturasa Kannadasan, was attacked in his home in Araly, Jaffna and taken to Vaddukoddai police station, around 8pm on Saturday (18th April). 

“My husband is a fisherman, he just arrived from work before the police arrived. He was beaten so badly with the baton that he nearly died,” cried Kannadasan’s wife.

Kannadasan came back from work and was having a chat with his two neighbours in his house, when six men in civil clothing started questioning why they were gathering whilst the curfew was in place. 

The young men unaware that these unmarked men were police officers, were relentlessly interrogated about the occupants and details of the household. The officers then asked for their identity cards (IC) to be produced.

Kannadasan’s wife went to get the IC’s when the officers started arguing aggressively with Kannadasan and his neighbours and then started heavily beating up the youngsters.

Kannadasan state the officers were clearly drunk and said that several officers outside also went into the home and started beating up the youngsters, who went to get their IC’s. The officers used batons to attack the youngsters and charged into the house, broke the chairs, wrecked the house and used vulgar insults at the women.

Kannadasan was beaten to the point where he was sustained multiple body injuries and started to bleed heavily from his mouth injury and he ended up fainting from the severe blood loss.

The officers dragged Kannadasan and hurled him on a motorcycle to take to the police station. Kannadasan’s wife, who cried for help during this, alerted nearby neighbours.

When neighbours came to question what was happening, both men and women were beaten and chased away, with many of them having their clothes been torn off. Some neighbours tried to avert the officers away by throwing stones at them.

However, the officers recorded the stones thrown at them and threatened they will release the footage and say they were attacked first if anyone talks about the incident.

Human Rights Violations

This attack is an example of the many incidents of police harassment and brutal treatment of civilians across the North-East in the past few weeks during the curfew.

There have been incidents of bicycles having their tyres slashed; chains ripped out, people being harassed and beaten for standing in the front of their house, breaking chairs and vandalising houses and also hitting and behaving inappropriately with women.  

This incident has caused a lot of fear in the area and is a serious violation of human rights. It has prompted multiple social activists to demand that appropriate action be taken immediately.

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