Saturday, 29 June 2013

Muslim youth was being assaulted at Gandara from Sinhala Ravaya

Muslim youth was being assaulted at Gandara from Sinhala Ravaya

It was reported in the media that the religious/ethnic extremist group Sinhala Ravaya (Voice of Sinhalese) has attacked a Beef Stall at Tangalle, while proceeding on a bogus foot march in protest of slaughtering cattle, but failed to report that a Muslim youth too was being assaulted at Gandara. The following is a concise report we obtained from our correspondent in the area. The person who was being attacked is a Muslim youth who runs a Photographic Studio in the same area.

It has been a common practice of the officials of Gandara Police Station, to seek the service of this youth whenever they needed anything to do with photography and in many occasions he used to provide the service to the Police free of charge.

Since, the news was out that the foot march launched by the saffron robed extremists, who called themselves as Sinhala Ravaya was scheduled to pass through Gandara town on the same day, all the Muslims in that area kept away of their daily routines and confined themselves to their homes. But, despite this, many Muslims in the area has seen him strolling around the town in the company of a Police Constable named Sisira and another police Officer along with his camera. When he was inquired about it by a Muslim Brethren, he has told him that, the Acting Officer-In-Charge of the Police Station, one Pushpakumara has requested him to get some photographs of the foot march for him.

By 10.00 AM, the march was passing through the town and the said youth too was moving with them photographing the event when a dark skinned, saffron robed thug suddenly got hold the shirt of the photographer and demanded to know who he was. At the same time, all others around him started to assault him and the Police Officer who was in civvies, was only staring at it but never attempted to prevent the youth being assaulted. We later saw that Pushpakumara, the Police Officer too was coming into the scene, but he too was unable to bring the situation under control.

We saw that the beaten youth was proceeding towards the Police Station and we went to him and asked what really took place, for which he said that, his camera and the National Identity Card was forcibly taken by the monk and he had captured the incident into his camera. We then advised him to lodge a complaint in the Police Station, without any further delay. But later he disclosed that at the Police Station, they refused to record his complain and the Acting O.I.C. Pushpakumara has told him, even his job is at stake due to this incident and then has begged him to produce a twisted version of the incident. Eventhough, he got back his National Identity Card and the camera from Pushpa Kumara, the camera did not contain its memory chip.

Due to the request of the Acting O.I.C. Pushpa Kumara, the statement given by the youth says that while he was photographing the PEACEFUL foot march as a freelance, a monk has asked him for his camera and Acting O.I.C. Pushpakumara has asked it back of the monk and handed it over to him.

Later that day, the Acting O.I.C. Pushpakumara visited the Gandara Mosque and disclosed the true incident to all the Muslim brethrens, and we took the liberty of recording his speech, without his knowledge.

Translated by: T.N.Rahim