Case of a Mother and Son murdered in cold
blood by IPKF
- Letter by Dr. R. Narendran to the Indian
- 15 December 1987, Tamil Times
Dear Mr. Gandhi,
This letter is addressed to you in your dual
role as Prime Minister of India and a son whose
mother was murdered by uniformed assassins.
Despite your privileged position, I am sure
you too would have suffered and are probably yet
suffering from the trauma of your mother's
Love and affection for our near and dear ones,
especially parents and children is something that
is common to all mankind and which is developed
at birth and felt throughout life.
I am writing this letter as a son and a
brother, whose mother and younger brother were
callously murdered by the Indian Peace Keeping
Force (IPKF) on the 16th October 1987 at
When I arrived they were being eaten by dogs
and crows. Their remains would have yet been
outside their home had not the Sri Lankan army
and air force helped me to get to the spot on the
seventh day and cremate the remains.
My mother was sixty-five years old and has
given birth to seven children and reared them
through years ofhardship and personal
deprivation. We children are what we are today
largely on account of the sacrifices made by her.
There are very few mothers anywhere today who
could have suffered more than she did to bring up
her seven children as decent human beings.
I built the house in Navatkuli, Jaffna, five
years back for her to live in comfort. The house
was a token of the gratitude I felt for what she
had done for us.
The IPKF has made this very same house her
grave! My borther, who was 38 years old, was a
leading citizen of Jaffna and married five years
and had two children aged two and a half and a
He had foregone several opportunities to leave
Sri Lanka in order to be near our mother. My
brother has paid the ultimate penalty for having
loved his mother and concern for her welfare. How
can his young widow and two small children be
consoled now? This is a tragedy that will not be
forgotten forgenerations to come.
The fact that both these lives were ended
without any rational reason and in a brutal
manner and their bodies not accorded the respect
due to even hapless beggars on the streets, is
The fact that they were shot point blank at
close range without any questions being asked,
under the portico of their house, speaks volumes
for the brutality and utter disregard for human
life displayed by the Indian army.
The right to life, inherent in all the
convenants on human rights talked about today,
has been brazenly violated in this instance. How
an army representing what is in reality a Hindu
India (Mahatma Ghandhi's India!) could sink to
such low depths is beyond my comprehension.
Why has human life become so cheap?
Ironically, the very same Sri Lankan armed
forces we Tamils had hitherto
considered our enemies showed their Buddhist
cultural heritage - compassion and brotherhood -
when the Indian forces that had entered Sri Lanka
as the defenders of the Tamils had turned into
their very killers.
I will be eternally grateful for the
compassionate manner in which the Sri Lankan
forces came to my assistance when it was most
needed. What I have seen in my own house and the
neighbourhood is proof enough of the murderous
intent of the Indian army and the immoral manner
in which it has carried out its crusade against
the L.T.T.E. in Jaffna.
No amount of press censorship and propaganda
could put a lid on the facts for long and the
trauma of what has transpired cannot be erased
from the collective memory of the Tamils, by your
free food and medicine. . .
My mother and brother had survived four years
of near civil war and had continued to live in
the same house despite its proximity to the Sri
Lankan army camp. However, they had to die a
death even stray dogs do not deserve, at the
hands of the Indian forces that had come to
ensure their safety.
What makes the whole episode allthe more
nauseating is the fact that these murders were
carried out apparently to enable the Indian
soldiers to loot the house of its valuables!! The
missing stereo system and colour television
testify to this.
The house had been ransacked for money and
jewels and my inability to find any money in the
house during my visit attests to this fact. The
location of the house in a sparsely populated
area, the appearance of the house and the age and
social background of the inmates would have
indicated to anyone with even a modicum of
intelligence that my mother and brother did not
constitute a threat to the IPKF. The murders had
in fact been committed two days after the IPKF
had assured them their safety!!
I can comprehend the finality of death and the
impossibility of bringing the dead alive by even
the Prime Minister of India. However, I hope this
letter will serve the purpose of preventing any
more wanton deaths of innocent Tamils, at the
hands of the IPKF.
R. Narendran, Ph.D., Associate Professor
and, an unconsolable son and brother.College of
Agriculture, King Faisal University, Saudi