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Illegal sand miners assault and hospitalise Tamil man

A Tamil man was assaulted while confronting illegal sand miners on his land, last month.

The sand miners used tractors to dig sand in Palavi fields in Jaffna, when landowner P. Nimalan tried to stop them. He was then attacked and seriously injured with a shovel and spade before the sand miners fled, stated the Kodikamam police department.

Nimalan was admitted to the Chavakachcheri Hospital with critical injuries following the assault.

Sand smuggling has been a long standing issue across the North-East causing serious environmental damage across the region. The issue has also been a strong source of tension between Tamils and the Sri Lankan security forces as unarmed Tamil men have died in 2010, 2017 and 2020 during alleged confrontations about sand smuggling. Tamil groups have claimed that state forces have used the issue as a guise to target and surveillance communities, while taking bribes to protect actual perpetrators.

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