Aug 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy was on alert today after one of its camps in the Eastern Province came under attack on Sunday night by the residents of the area who were chasing "Grease Devils".
The Navy believes the attack by the residents on the Kinniya navy camp in Trincomalee district is a conspiracy by drug racketeers in the coastal area to close the base and remove the Navy from there to carry out drug smuggling operations uninterruptedly.
A spokesman for the Navy said that many racketeers were arrested in the last few days following the operations from the naval base in Kinniya and these racketeers are stirring up the public to remove the naval detachment as it is an obstacle to their operations.
A large group of residents last night pelted stones at the Navy camp claiming that two "Grease Devil" drove into the base and were seeking refuge there.
The Navy said it had to fire at the crowd to disperse the mob. Several villagers and navy personnel were injured in the clash and admitted to the hospital.
The mob also attacked the police, which arrived at the scene to control the situation, and burned a police jeep.
Tension prevailed today also after people stormed the Government Agent's office demanding the release of 25 suspects arrested by the police during the skirmish. The police have released the 25 people taken into custody last night.
The Navy spokesman has said the individuals engaged in the illegal activities were leading the assault on the camp.
A group of senior defence officials including the Eastern Commander Major General Boniface Perera visited Kinniya to monitor the situation.
Sri Lanka has been gripped with the fear of "Grease Devils" for the past few days. Prowlers, only clad in underwear and with grease applied on them to avoid being caught, have been terrorizing women in several rural areas of the country.