SL Forest Department suspected of shooting to kill Muslim villager in Mannaar

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 May 2017, 23:39 GMT]
A 30-year-old Tamil-speaking Muslim farmer from Musali in Mannaar was admitted to Mannaar General Hospital with two serious gunshot wounds on Sunday night. The victim, identified as Meera Sahib Harees hails from Paalaik-kuzhi in Musali division. The father of four had gone searching for his cow in the nearby jungle area Sunday noon and was found unconscious and bleeding with two gunshot injuries around 5:30 p.m. in the same day. The jungle area is frequented by armed Sinhala guards from SL Forest Department who have been hostile to the Tamil-speaking Muslim villagers from Ma'richchuk-kaddi for a long time now. Paalaik-kuzhi is located near Ma'richchuk-kaddi.

Those who shot Mr Meera Sahib had an intent to kill him as they had left him behind without admitting him to hospital, they said.

If the brutal act was carried out by SL Forest Department operatives, the act is nothing else than State Terrorism, say Muslim villagers who demanded a thorough investigation into the incident.

Mr Meera Sahib is receiving treatment for his injuries in stomach and hands.

In the meantime, the SL Police was trying to pass the blame to unknown criminal elements. The SL policemen blame the Muslim villagers for illegal logging of trees in the adjacent jungles.

The villagers, who also admit that some of them are forced to make a living through illegal means by logging the trees and sending these to Puththa'lam as the occupying SL Navy has blocked their traditional fishing and agriculture through occupying their coast and agricultural lands.

The villagers say that the farmer subjected to gunshot wounds was not engaged in any illegal activity.

The SL Forest Department was behind annexing the residential areas of Ma'richchukkaddi villagers as part of Vil-pattu reserved forest. The Muslim villagers were staging a continuous protest till they were given a promise by Colombo regime to reconsider its decision. However, SL Forest Department officials continue to behave in a hostile manner along with Sinhala extremist monks, the villagers complain.


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