The northwest coastal town of Puttalam remained tensed Monday following violent clashes between the law enforcement authorities and residents after a policeman was beaten to death by a Muslim mob and unidentified gunmen shot at the people and injured five including a child.
The Sri Lanka Police have deployed a team of CID officials to investigate into the killing of the 23-year-old policeman and the shooting of civilians in the Puttalam area.
Police Spokesperson SP Prishantha Jayakody said a team of CID officials has already been sent to Puttalam.
Irate residents have taken to the streets after reports of a ‘Grease Devil’ in the area and a mob has attacked the policeman on traffic duty. The policeman has died on admission to the hospital.
Another policeman and five civilians have been injured in separate incidents, the police said.
Inspector General of Police N.K. Illangakoon has visited Puttalam and the scene where the policeman was killed and later presided over a conference with senior police officers in the area.
Meanwhile, the Army and the Special Task Force police have been deployed to control the tensions in the city and provide security to the Puttalam Police station and the personnel.
All police officers in the area have been called in to the police station and no policemen are on duty in the area.
The Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has reportedly ordered the police and army to find the persons responsible for creating unrest in Puttalam.
The panic over the ‘Grease Devils’, the nighttime prowlers with grease on their bodies to avoid capture and attacking women, is spreading throughout rural Sri Lanka.
Several incidents of villagers attacking innocent people and law enforcement officers including army soldiers mistaken for ‘Grease Devils’ have been reported over the past few weeks in several districts of the country, mostly in the East and now in northwest.
Law enforcement authorities blame remnants of terrorists and pro-LTTE elements for causing mayhem to disrupt government’s development programs in the war-battered region.