The trigger was a recent incident of rape and murder of an 18-year-old schoolgirl in Pungudutivu, west of Jaffna. When the girl’s body was found on May 14, the initial reaction was one of shock and sadness.
“On Tuesday, some individuals asked certain shops and establishments to close down without any notice. It was like a scene in Tamil feature films,” says Mr. Ravichandran, a member of the Tamil Civil Society Forum in Jaffna.
The next day, the town observed a general strike. But, it was on that day, when the police brought arrested persons to the court complex that a section of the mob, numbering around 400, threw stones at the court buildings and in the process, vehicles were damaged. Not only this, some agitators wanted the police to hand over the suspected persons to them.
“This kind of response was something that was shocking to us. Jaffna is not known for this,” says Mr. Ravichandran, adding that traditionally, people would hold placards, demanding speedy action and justice.
Going by the violent response, he says that one gets suspicion that this may be engineered by the “external elements.” He refuses to elaborate the term “external elements.”
However, this opinion is shared by others too.
M. A. Sumanthiran, Member of Parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), feels that those who wanted to portray the Northern Provincial Council, TNA and the Central government in poor light were behind the episode.(The Hindu)