Three Navy Ratings had been admitted to the Mannar Hospital following an ambush by the villagers of Arippu on Tuesday night, the Silawathurai Police said.
The Police said that on receiving a tip off by the Silawathurai Navy Camp in Mannar, that Kerala Ganja is being smuggled to the Arippu area by sea, a team of Navy intelligence officers had gone to check on the information.
However, the residents, who had arrived in a group had caught three Naval Ratings and assaulted them, thinking that the Navy men were thieves.
“Later a crowd numbering more than 300 had taken them to the Arippu Navy Camp. After reaching the camp the crowd had shouted that they caught the Navy men while attempting to commit robbery,” a Police officer said.
The Police said in order to quell the situation the Navy personnel at the camp had to shoot into the air.
Seizing this opportunity two of the captured Navy men had escaped and got them warded at the hospital.
However, the remaining Rating was taken to the Catholic Church in Arippu by the residents.
The crowd had refused to release this Naval Rating and yesterday morning a team of senior Police officers together with local political leaders had visited the Church and after a negotiation with the residents, released the Rating on the undertaking that no legal action would be instituted against villagers.
The Silawathurai Police together with the Mannar Police are investigating.