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Tamil youth was 'tied to a tree' and attacked before being 'beaten to death'

The recent killing of a Tamil youth by the Sri Lankan Intelligence division in custody in Batticaloa, involved him being "tied to a tree" and repeatedly beaten by officers, according to his sister and other nearby witnesses. 

Chandran Vithusan, 22, was picked up from outside his house at 10:30PM on Wednesday, June 2, by the Intelligence officers who hit him using poles. Vithusan’s sister told journalists that she saw him being dragged away by the officers outside their house. “They said they are from the Criminal Investigation Department,” she said. 

Vithusan’s maternal uncle was also present in the area when the arrest took place and said Vithusan was forcibly handcuffed and tied to a tree. “I went and tried to stop him from being arrested. But I was pushed away and said that a case would be foisted against me also," he said. The officers then continued to attack him before taking him to custody. Vithusan’s uncle also said that their family was ordered not to come to the Police Station by night and was instructed instead to arrive the following morning. 

The next morning, on Thursday, June 3, Vithusan’s dead body was handed over by the officials. Relatives insisted that the youth was beaten to death by the police. The officials, meanwhile, maintained that Vithusan had died of an illness. The post-mortem report has said that he had died of a drug overdose. Vithusan's body was brought to his house on June 4 where family and friends mourned his passing. 

The district magistrate has ordered for an autopsy to take place. A police team has also been formed, led by Eravur Police Station Officer-in-Charge, SW Jayantha, who are currently investigating the incident. 

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