At least 29 persons were arrested in connection with a spate of violence in several areas of the North, as the Police and the security forces stepped up operations to stem the rise in lawlessness in the region, a senior official said yesterday.
Police Superintendent (SP) Ruwan Gunasekera said that the suspects were rounded up from safe houses in the Police areas of Jaffna, Chunakam, Manipai and Kopai and an assortment of sharp instruments that included seven swords, a hatchet along with eight motor-cycles used by them was also taken into custody.
The suspects who are currently in remand custody are alleged to have vandalized several homes in the respective Police areas and has also caused extensive damage to a car parked inside the premises of a private residence, SP Gunasekera said.
He added that there are 53 Police stations in the area and that only four areas from this figure had been affected by the violence.
He added that the suspects were rounded up during special operations carried out by the Police and security forces on information provided by the general public.
“The need of the hour is to arrests this violent trend at the very earliest or else it will develop into a full blown problem that will be hard to tackle.
He identified the suspects as youngsters with no particular agenda although there are allegations that they are backed by certain regional politicians and business persons to target competitors and other rivals.
According to SP Gunasekera the suspects were members of the so-called AAVA and Dunlop Groups and known to be rivals.
Meanwhile, the regional law enforcement agencies have also put out an emergency hotline telephone number (0766 093 030) that could be used by the general public to provide information on such crime elements and their activities without any fear.
Any information will be treated with the utmost confidence and instant action will be taken without any delays, one senior Police Officer in the area said.