An unidentified armed gang went on an uninterrupted five-hour robbery spree in at Bandarikulam in Vavuniya on Wednesday night. The gang had robbed cash, jewellery and other valuables from several houses to the tune of Rs. 20 million.
The spree is reported to have commenced at 11.30 pm on Wednesday and continued into the wee hours of yesterday (19).
Vavuniya residents were shocked and the Police baffled when residents of Bandarikulam trekked to the Vavuniya Police station yesterday morning to lodge their complaints. Bandarikulam is in the Government controlled area, three miles off Vavuniya town, on the Mannar road. There was tension in the area when people learnt about the high profile serial robberies.
The targeted houses belonged to doctors, high ranking government officials and wealthy businessmen. A thorough survey has been done before the robbery and the victims have been predetermined, Police believe.
The armed raiders first disconnected the telephones, grabbed the mobile phones, tied their victims to trees and made the victims totally incommunicado before helping themselves. Before fleeing, the gang had warned the victims that if they inform the police or security forces they would have to face the dire consequences.
A high ranking Police team was in Bandaraikulam yesterday conducting investigations. Victims believe that an influential militant group may have been behind these well planned robberies
Meanwhile, in another development, at a meeting convened by the Vavuniya District Secretariat on Wednesday, it was revealed that 24 people have been killed in Vavuniya during the last fortnight
The meeting was presided by the District Secretary and the participants included Vavuniya District Judge M. Ilancheliyan, heads of security forces and Police in the area, politicians, high ranking Government officials and religious dignitaries. At the meeting it was decided to form a 20-member citizens committee that would coordinate with the security forces and the civilians.
It was revealed at this meeting that that civilian killings, abductions and extortion demands are on the rise and civilians in Vavuniya find it extremely difficult to carry on with their day to day activities.
Civilians have been asked to cooperate with security forces and Police to put an end to the unlawful acts.