Editor of weekend news paper Vaara Ureikal, Mr. M.I. Rahmahetulla was attacked by gang armed with guns, long knifes and swards seriously injuring him around 10.45 pm today (1st April 2009). Mr. Rahmahetulla was working on the tomorrow’s newspaper at his news paper office when the attack took place. The office is situated at ALS road, New Katthankudi in Batticloa district. 5 armed men came in a van and left in the same vehicle after the attack.
He received serious cut injuries on his face, hands and chest according to his journalist’s colleagues. He was first admitted to Kathankudi Hospital and transferred to Battcloa teaching Hospital within an hour. He was still unconscious when he was transferred.
Vaara Ureikal weekly reaches new stands Friday evening and a popular news paper among the Muslims in the area. The weekly is known for bold criticism of corruption and corrupt politicians.
Two computers, the land line telephone and stationary belongs to the newspaper were damaged in the attacked.
This attack on Muslim owned newspaper comes at a time of increasing violence in the Eastern province. Renewed attacks by the LTTE and the open confrontation between two para military groups supported by the government have undermined the security situation of the province recently. Batticloa district has burnt the brunt of increasing armed violence.
Last year On 9th May, one day before the PC election he was assaulted by a gang of three and robbed his digital camera and Rs. 16,000 cash. The incident happened around 10.00 p.m while he was on his way home after days work at the news paper office. According to his colleagues the assault was election related, the editor being blamed for not supporting a powerful ruling party politician in the area. Although Mr. M.I. Rahmahetulla made complaint at the Kathankudi police on the same day no action was taken by the police.
– MFSL Team –