Vattrapalai Amman Temple shelled: 15 people killed!

Place: Mullaitivu | Courtesy: Tamil Nation
| Date: 19920518

The historical Vattrapalai Amman Kovil(temple) was shelled by the Sri Lankan army on 18 May 1992, whilst the coastal temple was packed with pilgrims for the annual Pongal festival.

Sri Lankan troops fired artillery from their Mullaitivu camp, located 2 miles from the temple, around noon. The first shells missed and landed on the beach, causing the crowd to panic and flee the temple premises. Many were injured in the ensuing stampede.

A shell exploded near a bicycle stand, killing ten people on the spot. Five others died whilst being rushed for treatment.

The Red Cross was duty at the temple premises and two of its staff - Shanmugalingam (46) and Rajanimal (19) were killed in the attack and a female Red Cross nurse, R. Suganthinidevi suffered serious injuries.

Included in the dead, also, were Navaratnam (36) and his two year old daughter Yugaranee. Navaratnam s wife was seriously injured, and another of his children had an arm blown off.

The Sri Lankan army denied it shelled the temple, and claimed it had shelled a Tamil guerilla camp. The temple authorities had informed the army camp of the planned Hindu festival.