In the latest twist to the abduction and killing of two volunteer workers of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, police yesterday said they suspected the vehicle used in the abduction belonged to the Karuna faction.
Sabaragamuwa Province DIG Sarath Perera said they had identified the number of the vehicle used in the abduction and suspected the vehicle was being used by the Karuna faction. Police also said the vehicle had been seen in the area on the day of the crime.
However the Karuna faction denied any hand in the killing and claimed one of the Red Cross victims was a close relative of a high ranking official in Karuna`s Colombo office.
Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP) peace secretariat Chief Mahesh told the Daily Mirror Mahadevan Chandramohan (27) was his cousin. The victim who earlier resided in LTTE controlled areas in Batticaloa had later moved into cleared areas in Chenkaladi and joined the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC).
`He was my mother`s sister`s son and was the only boy among seven in the family. I was shocked to hear of his untimely death and am grieving together with my family. We don`t know who did this but it has become an easy route for many to blame Karuna,` Mr. Mahesh said.
While condemning the brutal slaying of his relative together with another colleague, both who were Tamils and residents of Batticaloa, Mr. Mahesh admitted as the TMVP had many enemies the crime could have been committed by anyone. He said the TMVP was also trying to identify the perpetrators.
The latest enemies of Karuna is the group led by his former `supreme commander` Pillayan following a bitter split between the two sides but Mr. Mahesh did not point fingers at anyone over the killings.
Meanwhile the CID recorded statements from four fellow workers who were with the two victims at the Fort Railway Station when the abduction took place. They were waiting for the Batticaloa train after participating at a workshop for Red Cross workers at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.
The victims were abducted last Friday and their bodies with gunshot injuries were found on the following day dumped in a tea estate in Kiriella.
The witnesses stated that five persons claiming to be CID officers arrested the victims and took them in a white van. DIG, of the Criminal Investigations Department W.B.Prathapasinghe who denied any involvement of the CID in the arrest of the victims said a special police team was sent to Batticaloa to record the statements of the witnesses.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe were among those who paid their last respects to the victims whose final rites will take place later today.