The Army has denied reports, on the existence of torture camps, in the areas released a week ago in Valikamam North.
700 acres of land area has been released for the resettlement of IDPs by the security forces in the North. President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to officially hand over the documents confirming the land ownership of their original lands, at a function coinciding with ‘Thai Pongal’ celebration on 15 January, sources said.
After the handing over of the 700 acre land to the Jaffna Government Agent last week, IDPs were allowed to see their original places. Some of the IDPs had reported that they saw the rooms and other areas inside their houses were made up in a manner of operating torture camps with rooms being covered with barbed wire sources said.
However, the Army Media Unit have denied the allegations of running torture camps in the areas which were in their possession in Valikamam North and pointed out that stories have been fabricated to tarnish the reputation of the Army.
“The Army did not have any torture camps, nor secret detention camps in the areas released for resettlement and we had no need to run torture camps,” the military spokesperson said on Sunday (3).
Locals in Valikamam North suspect two houses returned to them last week after 25 years of military occupation were used as torture cells.
Meanwhile, the IDPs returning after twenty five years to their original places in Valikamam North, have now started clearing the over grown shrubs and bushes which were even covering roads and lanes beyond identification, sources said.
IDPs have also pointed out that most of their houses were now in a dilapidated state with the roof tiles, doors, windows and their frames being removed. The furniture which was left behind when they evacuated their original places have also been either removed or damaged. Even after they were allowed to return to their original places, some of the looters were nabbed red-handed when they were attempting to take the leftovers from the abandoned houses.
On the request of the IDPs returning to their original places police patrols have are also now in place to prevent untoward incidents sources said.