Ritualistic killings are a not-uncommon problem for the Metropolitan police. The tragic circumstances of ‘torso on the Thames’, Child B and Victoria Climbie have resulted in repeated enquiries and investigations, without broader understanding. Now, Operation Violet, a taskforce has released a long-delayed report into factors involved in these killings.
Whilst the common perception of ritual killings is that it’s something for the Afro-Caribbean population to sort out, it’s interesting to note that five cases out of the thirty-eight investigated, were of South Asian origin, with four of these being Muslim and just the one Hindu. Such superstitions are often popular throughout Asian cultures, making the fact that comparatively few Asian children have been involved in such incidents, a very encouraging one. The five children investigated may represent the tip of an iceberg; medical models, such as the South East London Screening Study have long demonstrated that each case presenting to authorities has more often than not, got a comparable counterpart within the community.
Comparatively little investigation has been made into the fate of adults who die from similar means. The barbaric killing of Subramaniam Sivakumar bears shades of resemblance to a ritual killing. What is more interesting is the similarity of the gang responsible to LTTE front-organisations operating over the last few years. Extortion and threats are commonplace amongst the Tamil business community. Dissent has been more pronounced during recent years. Those who committed this brutal killing & attempted to prevent its investigation (the chief witness has been intimidated into hiding) should not be allowed to intimidate others in their community.
This incident should serve as a reminder to bolster, not silence the protest against terrorism.
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