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The Police informed that citizens of Vavuniya and Kilinochchi had conducted a harthal on February 24 in a show of outrage over the recent rape and murder of a 13-year-old female child in Ukkulankulam, Vavuniya.

The Police Media Unit said that shops had been closed in the areas and while teachers had turned up at schools to teach, students had abstained from going to schools.

In the Kilinochchi area, local transportation was not seen even though long distance transportation including buses going to areas like Colombo was seen, the Police Media Unit remarked.

The residents demanded justice for victims of sexual abuse and the protesters urged the law enforcement authorities to conduct a proper investigation into the incident immediately, to take urgent measures to apprehend the suspects and to take action and steps to curb ongoing sexual violence against women and children.

The Police and the Military have been deployed to the area to diffuse the situation. The harthal was also conducted in Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Mannar.