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Former LTTE cadre cleared of police shootings after 6 months in detention

A former LTTE cadre, known as Ajanthan, who was detained for six months under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in connection with the murder of two police officers in Batticaloa was formally cleared of his charges by Batticaloa Magistrate’s Court. 

The father of five children was released last week after mounting pressure from Tamil political leaders and civil society activists led the president to issue an order for his release. 

During his time in detention, Ajanthan's wife and children protested, demanding he be released and cleared off the crime. To date no offer of compensation has been made for the injustice made against him. 

On November 30 last year two police officers were shot and stabbed to death at a checkpoint in Vavunathivu.

Two former LTTE cadres had been arrested in connection with the murders, and while one had been released on bail, Ajanthan had been kept in detention under PTA regulations.

Although Tamil political and community representatives had at the time of arrest maintained that former LTTE cadres were being unfairly scapegoated for the murders, the calls for Ajanthan’s release dramatically intensified since a link had been established between the murder incident and the Islamist extremists who carried out the bomb blasts in Batticaloa and Colombo on Easter Sunday.