TMVP suspect commits suicide

Varsha killing

Pillayan, Karuna factions trade charges

By Amadoru Amarajeewa and Jamila Najmuddin

Another suspect in the Trincomalee ransom case –where a six-year-old girl had been abducted and later found dead — had committed suicide yesterday by consuming cyanide while in the police custody in Trincomalee.

Uppaweli police said that the suspect, identified as 23 year-old Vardharajen Janarathan alias ‘Jana Kumaran,’ a resident of Batticaloa, was the regional leader of the TMVP in Trincomalee.

According to the initial police investigations, the suspect had led a group of policemen on the pretext of showing them some hidden weapons, in to the Old Library of the Vocational Training Centre at Uppaweli last afternoon.

Suddenly the handcuffed suspect had picked up a cyanide capsule from the location and swallowed it. The police had rushed the suspect to a nearby hospital, but he had died after admission.

Earlier, the suspect had helped the police locate two hand grenades hidden there, and on yet another occasion to recover two other hand grenades.

According to the police, the man was wanted for harassment, assault and extortion, and for a ransom-connected killing of a Cinema Hall Manager of the area. He had cases pending for similar crimes, and Trincomalee courts had released him on bail on condition that he report every Sunday at the police station, the police said.

On Sunday the main suspect in the case — 25 year-old Obrein Mervyn Renowson alias Shan — was shot dead when he tried to escape after attacking a policeman while being escorted to the place where the little child’s body had been found. A Trincomalee police constable injured in the incident is warded at Trincomalee Hospital.

Varsha Jude Regi was abducted on March 11, while waiting for the trishaw that took her home after school. The abductors had demanded a ransom from her mother who had said she had no cash to give them. Three days after the abduction, the girl’s body was found in a fertilizer bag which was seen floating in a canal. The child had been blindfolded, her hands and feet were tied, and she had burn marks on her body. She had been strangled.

Meanwhile, the TMVP and the Karuna group traded charges yesterday, accusing each other of involvement in the murder.

TMVP Spokesperson Azath Maulana said Karuna cadres ‘might be involved’ in the murder, as they were still using offices with the TMVP nameboard. But Karuna Group spokesman Iniya Bharathi denied the allegation and directly held the TMVP responsible.

“The TMVP are the ones who are directly involved in Varsha’s murder. They are responsible for many murders and abductions in the east,” said Mr. Bharati.

TMVP’s Maulana, however, said that Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan had informed the police yesterday that Karuna cadres, who recently quit the TMVP to join the SLFP, were carrying out criminal activities under the TMVP name, and that many offices carrying the TMVP nameboard were still being used by Karuna cadres: “This is a serious problem. They are using the TMVP name to carry out all their illegal activities. The office in which Varsha’s bag was found is also used by Karuna cadres with the TMVP nameboard. This proves that they may be involved but are trying to blame us,” Mr. Maulana said.

He addedthat the TMVP, being democratic party, had handed over all its weapons to the military recently and none of its cadres possessed weapons. “We do not carry weapons any more; all our cadres are now being trained for employment purposes. It is the Karuna cadres who are making trouble in the east,” said Mr. Maulana.

Mr. Bharati, however, said that the Karuna group did not occupy any TMVP offices and that they gig not link themselves to the TMVP name. “We are now part of the SLFP, so if the TMVP claims that we are using their offices, then they are mistaken. We have given up everything which links us to the TMVP,” he said.

The Trincomalee police said, earlier in the week, that the group which carried out the abduction and killing of the six year old was led by a strongman of the TMVP — the party led by the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province.

According to the details disclosed by the police, the kidnappers had killed another three people — a leading businessman, the manager of a movie theater and a bus conductor — in Trincomalee, after demanding ransoms.

Police said they had also been involved in another 30 kidnapping cases in Trincomalee.

Police said another three people belonging to the TMVP, including the head of the political office at Orr’s Hill in Trincomalee were among those arrested over last week killing.

Conspiracy to transfer Trinco SSP — JVP

The JVP charged in Parliament yesterday, that there was a conspiracy to transfer the SSP in charge of investigations into the abduction and killing of the Trincomalee schoolgirl, allegedly by the TMVP members.

JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said initial investigations had found that this crime had been committed by members of the TMVP – an alliance partner of the ruling UPFA.

“The TMVP is a party of the ruling UPFA. The body of this six-year-old schoolgirl had been found at a TMVP office according to police investigations. It is also revealed that this gang is responsible for other ransom cases too;” he said.

Mr. Dissanayake said controversy now surrounds plans by some forces to transfer the SSP in charge of the investigations.

He asked whether there was such an attempt by the government.

Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane said the Government would never sweep the investigations under the carpet.

Mr. Gunawardane also said there was no rule that only one person should conduct investigations. KB&YP

Source : DailyMirror


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