Sri Lankan police officers forced entry into a house in Jaffna and viciously attacked family members with their guns and bats, leaving at least three Tamil women hospitalised.
The three women were rushed to the Base Hospital in Manthikai, Jaffna earlier today, with one of the women unconscious from the violent assault. Children and elderly people living in the house were also ruthlessly assaulted, with officers threatening to arrest people on false drug possession charges.
"The police officers came and attacked everyone," said one villager. "They attacked absolutely everyone."
The officers visited the house, situated near the Maligaithidal Amman Kovil in Vadamarachchi East, Kudathanai yesterday in an attempt to seize a “Hunter” vehicle parked inside the house. They claimed that the vehicle needed to be seized as there was a ‘complaint that the vehicle was transporting sand illegally’ and that it needed to be recovered. However, when the house owners explained that the vehicle has been parked inside the house for a long time and the engine had not even been started, they ignored them and continued in their attempts to apprehend it. This caused a verbal altercation and neighbours had also gathered to see what was happening.
The officers assaulted a boy who was recording the incident and took his phone to delete the footage. “Anyone considering submitting a complaint or attempting to release any footage regarding the altercation will be arrested on fake charges of Ganja smuggling or distribution,” the police reportedly told villagers.
After leaving the house without seizing the vehicle yesterday, they returned to the same house this morning and violently attacked the children, elderly and women of the household. They relentlessly attacked them as they attempted to scream for help.
"They attacked with big bats and their guns," cried one young Tamil girl, as she nursed an unconscious woman. "It was really painful and we cried. They hit us with big bats, gubs and they stamped on us with their shoes. They hit out sisters and used vulgar language."
The officers once more threatened to arrest the Tamils on false, claiming they would plant cannabis on the women. "They badly tortured these orphaned children," added a bystander.
"They dragged the girls by the neck because they did not come out," said a Tamil woman from the village. When she tried to intervene the Sri Lankan police attacked her. "They hit me with their gun and broke my tooth," she added.
The incident has caused outrage in the village and comes amidst a military enforced vurfew in the region.
"We want protection," demanded one young man. "Otherwise we would just have to die."
"They attacked my aunt. She fainted and is in a coma... How can we trust the police?"