Home » NIA launches 4th probe since 2021 into attempts to revive LTTE – Hindustan Times

NIA launches 4th probe since 2021 into attempts to revive LTTE – Hindustan Times

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken up a third probe this year and the fourth since 2021 into attempts to revive Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), people familiar with the matter said.

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The fresh investigation was launched after Tamil Nadu Police on May 19 arrested Naveen, 25, and Sanjai Prakash, 24, for allegedly trying to further LTTE’s activities and recovered two country-made pistols, ammunition and gun-powder from them.

In its First Information Report last month, the NIA cited investigation and said LTTE inspired the accused and they allegedly wanted to create an organisation similar to it and wage an armed struggle in Tamil Nadu.

Last week and in mid-July, NIA raided premises of over two dozen suspects in Tamil Nadu in a separate case linked to activities of C Gunashekharaan alias Guna and Pushparajah alias Pookutti Kanna’s Sri Lankan drug mafia gang working in association with Pakistani drugs and arms supplier Haji Salim.

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A counter-terrorism official in Delhi said Salim “runs one of the biggest networks of drugs and arms smuggling from Pakistan to Sri Lanka”.

“These drugs and arms traffickers have been operating in India and Sri Lanka and working for the revival of LTTE and to further its violent activities,” the NIA said in a statement on August 5.

NIA earlier charged LTTE cadres, including Sri Lankan Letchumanan Mary Franciska and five others, of forging documents for a bank account to fund LTTE’s activities. In its charge sheet against them on March 29, the NIA said Franciska, T Kenniston Fernando and K Baskaran entered into a conspiracy with foreign entities to siphon off deposits in dormant bank accounts by using Indian identity documents obtained fraudulently and forging identity documents to revive, revamp and regroup LTTE in India and Sri Lanka. “They were abetted by Johnson Samuvel, Dharmendran and Mohan in forging Indian identity documents.”

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In October last year, Satkunam alias Sabesan, a former LTTE intelligence wing member, was arrested in connection with a probe into seizure of five AK47 rifles, thousands of rounds of 9 mm ammunition and 300 kg of heroin from a fishing vessel. The Coast Guard intercepted the vessel off the coast of Minicoy in Lakshadweep in March 2021.

“Sebastian played a crucial role in routing the proceeds of drugs trafficking to former LTTE cadres in Sri Lanka for the revival of LTTE,” NIA said in a statement in October 2021.

LTTE, which fought for an independent homeland for Tamils in north-eastern Sri Lanka, was notorious for use of suicide attacks before it was militarily defeated in 2009. An LTTE suicide bomber killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu in 1991.

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