A group led by Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan broke into a meeting presided over by Batticaloa’s mayor Sivageetha Prabhakaran and allegedly assaulted two members of the Batticaloa Municipal Council on Friday evening after they refused to ignore the council’s tender procedures in allocating shops in the newly built bus terminal building, a senior police officer said.
Chief Inspector N.Somasinghe told the Sunday Times they had recorded statements from two councils members who were injured in the attack.
The Chief minister had allegedly used a motorcycle chain to attack the two members who opposed his demand to allocate seven shops for him in the newly built Batticaloa main bus stand which is to be opened next week.
Earlier Mr. Chandrakanthan had demanded that the Mayor should allocate the seven shops and she had informed the council members of the demand.
Mr. Chandrakanthan had directed the Mayor to summon a meeting to resolve the matter and said that he would be sending his representatives.
However when the meeting was about to start at the Mayor’s official residence a group of about 20s led by Mr. Chandrakanthan himself entered the place and confronted the member who opposed his demand. They then allegedly assaulted council members.
The members assaulted were the Eelam People’s Revolutionary (EROS) General secretary Rajanadan Prabhakaran and UPFA member Kandiaha Arumainayagam.
Mr Rajanadan while receiving treatment for his injuries at the hospital told the Sunday Times that he opposed the demand as he believed the chief minister was trying to grab public property. He said Mr. Chandrakanthan wanted seven of the ground floor shops.
“We had received bids of Rs. 300,000 for each of the units.” He said since tenders had been called they would have to follow the council procedures.Azahd Moulana, spokesman for the Chief Minister claimed that though there was a heated argument at the meeting, the chief minister had left the scene.
“After he left the members had clashed. The Chief minister or his supporters were not involved,”he said.
However, the other injured member as well others present confirmed that the chief minister and his group were involved in the attack.