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Sri Lankan soldiers attack Tamil farmer, police threaten to shoot him and cover it up

Sri Lankan soldiers beat and tortured a Tamil man from Keppapulavu in Mullaitivu yesterday after one of his cows accidentally broke through a weak fence and entered an army camp.

Sri Lankan soldiers walked past when the cow entered and asked Azhagaraja Rajarupan if the cow belonged to him and whether he had broken the fence. Rajarupan denied breaking the fence, following which the soldiers called more troops and a commander.

The soldiers claimed that they had seen Rajarupan cutting the fence and accused him of cutting it in the past to allow cattle to enter the camp. Rajarupan highlighted there was a checkpoint nearby and pleaded with the soldiers to check nearby surveillance cameras for proof. More soldiers soon arrived in a military vehicle and surrounded the farmer.

Rajarupan was placed in a stranglehold by one soldier while another crushed his genitals. The others attempted to seize his motorcycle.

Local Tamils, including Rajarupan's relatives, soon turned in an attempt to defend him but were aggressively berated by a senior army officer.

Rajarupan was then taken to the local Sri Lankan police station in the army jeep. After inquiring with the army soldiers, police officers told him not to let the cows into the camp and threatened he would be shot if he did.

The police went on to threaten Rajarupan that if he even travelled along the edge of the army camp, he would be shot on sight. The officers even remarked that they would provide a cover-up for the shooting, and would state he had been shot for trespassing into the camp.

Rajarupan was also warned not to take the story to media. He has said that some cows, which his livelihood depends on, remain stuck inside camps along fences and that he is struggling to bring them out.

See his full testimony above.

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