The untimely deaths of two Jaffna University students have sent shock waves throughout Jaffna and the Inter University Students’ Federation has also expressed its dismay over the incident.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that Nadarasa Gajan and Pavunaraj Sulakshan were killed when they were speeding on a motorbike. However, the autopsy report of the Jaffna Judicial Medical Officer Dr. U. Mayurathan has confirmed that the rider of the motorbike was hit by a bullet on the right side of his chest and the pillion rider had injuries on the back of his head and died of head trauma.
The incident occurred late in the night around 10:45 p.m. last Thursday near the Kulappiddy Junction at Kokuvil on the Kankesanthurai (KKS) road when they were returning to their boarding house after visiting a friend at Kantharodai.
In recent weeks security in various parts in Jaffna and the suburbs have been increased following complaints of robberies, sword fights and hooliganism on the directive of Jaffna High Court Judge M. Illanchelian.
However, the incident resulting in the deaths of two innocent university students was unfortunate and the President has ordered an impartial investigation into the incident. Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara being onetime Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police in Jaffna paid personal attention to the incident assuring that the probe would be carried out effectively to find out what really went wrong.
Five policemen who were on duty at the scene have been remanded in connection with the incident by the Jaffna Magistrate till 6 November.
Thorough and impartial investigation over the incident is the need of the hour to calm the situation and to console the aggrieved families of the two dead students seeking justice.
Seven years ago the Jaffna Peninsula and the North and East Provinces at large had been regions of all sorts of firearms and a ruthless civil war. With the end of the war and with the change of government in January last year, people of Jaffna were living in peace despite several humanitarian issues still being unresolved.
The opening of the A-9 Highway followed by the end of the civil war has paved the way for the increase in motorized transportation in the Jaffna Peninsula. Until recently, push bicycles remained the popular mode of transport in Jaffna.
It is important to note that even the late legendary Engineering Professor A. Thurairasa who had been the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna in the late nineties came to the University on a bicycle from his hometown Uduppiddy.
It was not only him, but even several leading academics of the Jaffna University extensively used bicycles to move around in Jaffna.
However, the influx of motorized vehicles particularly motorbikes and scooters have increased significantly in the past seven years leading to fatal accidents almost everyday in the Peninsula.
Despite the introduction of effective measures to streamline traffic in Jaffna, the ‘breakneck’ speed of motorbikes, cars and auto rickshaws have created a fear psychosis among road users in Jaffna.
Unscrupulous elements also use motorbikes extensively for nefarious activities.
As Police Stations have been reopened, after several years to maintain law and order, the stations in the Northern Province are flooded with complaints not only of accidents but on motorists involved in criminal activities.
Following the increase in Court cases with regard to criminal activities, drug related incidents and reckless driving, Jaffna High Court Judge M. Illanchelian faces an arduous task in dealing with those cases.
He had frequent meetings with law enforcement officials to maintain law and order.
As an unbiased investigation into the deaths of the two Jaffna University students is inevitable, Jaffna civil society and the university circle should pay more attention to build a law-abiding, and civilized healthy future generation in the North.