Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home Whats New  Trans State Nation  One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search

Jain Commission Interim Report

Growth of Sri Lankan Tamil Militancy in Tamil Nadu
Chapter II -
Phase III (1989 - May l991)

Sections 11 to 15

11. Political patronage to LTTE in Tamil Nadu | 12. Intimidation of Customs personnel by Sri Lankan militants | 13. Abduction of Customs personnel by LTTE | 14. Cases registered against Sri Lankan Tamil Militants | 15. Political developments in Sri Lanka and India and their impact on the problem of Sri Lankan Tamil militancy

Political Patronage to LTTE in Tamil Nadu

44 By July, 1989, the growing activities of the LTTE in the State of Tamil Nadu also gave out an unmistakable signal that LTTE was being indulged in the State by the political leadership.

It had already been noticed that, after the demise of the AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister, Shri M. G. Ramachandran, the LTTE had perceptibly leaned towards the DMK party for patronage even before the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu.

It appears that the LTTE blatantly exploited their new found connection with the DMK to consolidate their position in the State and to operate with impunity.

A detailed assessment of the growing relationship between some elements of the DMK and the LTTE has been provided by the following report of the Intelligence Bureau furnished on 26th. June, 1989. (Annexure M-13) :

DIB U0 N0.I(14)/89(11)2703 DATED JUNE 26 1989

Subject : Tamil Nadu: Spurt in LTTE activities

"The Sri Lankan Tamil issue had ceased to be an emotive issue in Tamil Nadu after the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement in July, 1987 but the LTTE, after reneging on commitments made at the time of the signing of the Accord, has consistently tried to create a constituency for itself with the demise of M.G. Ramachandran and following the assumption of power by the DMK in Tamil Nadu in January, 1989, the LTTE established connections with the new leadership. A major effort was directed to gain their confidence so as to revive activities in Tamil Nadu, disrupted to a considerable extent during the preceding one year of President�s rule. As a result of this, there has been a considerable spurt in the Activities of the LTTE during the past six months. Tamil Nadu has, in a sense, become a clandestine rear base for the LTTE.

2. The DMK Government, for its part, is treading carefully on the Sri Lankan Tamil insue. It appears anxious not to incur the displeasure of the Central Government by pursuing a policy of open/total support to the LTTE. At the same time, it has been its links with the LTTE. Consequently, DMK Ministers, other party functionaries and State Government officials have been extending covert and not so covert support and patronage to the LTTE. LTTE elements have also keen in contact with the Chief Minister. The CM was informed through this channel of the LTTE's initial moves for direct negotiations with the Sri Lankan Government. DMK Minister, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, and DMK MPs, N.V.N Somu and V. Gopalaswamy, have been frequently seen contacting LTTE members, but the LTTE believes that it is Murasoli Maran who is mainly orchestrating various moves on behalf of the DMK administration.

3 The LTTE also maintains a link with K.Veeramani, General Secretary of the Dravida Kazhagam, Aladi Aruna, MP (AIADMK), and P.Nedumaran (TNKC). LTTE supporters had financed the visit of some of these leaders to London to attend the April Conference on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue organised by the UK based World Federation of Tamils. The Conference became a platform for a major attack on India's policy towards Tamils in Sri Lanka and on the role of the IPKF there.

4. Inevitably, therefore, there has been a considerable degree of laxity in the responses of the State administration and the police to the activities of the LTTE inside Tamil Nadu. The LTTE has fully utilised the situation to step up its activities and specially its arms smuggling operations. Almost the entire eastern coast-line from Kanyakumari to Mahabalipuram has now become a haven for smuggling operations In Ramanathapuram and Thanjavur districts, four segments have been identified as main points of smuggling activities. The LTTE normaily utilises Vedaranyam, Kodiakkarai, Pachaitheevu, Mallipatnam, Chinnamanai and occasionally areas in the Mandapam-Rameswaram belt as its landing points. Items smuggled include gelatine sticks, detonators, exsploives, different kinds of ammunition and fire-arms.

5. The support extended by sympathetic local smugglers, many of whom are activists belonging to the ruling party and constitute local power centres, makes it difficult to check such activities. The police have, hence, shown great reluctance to pursue cases involving arms smugglers. The State Government has, in a few instances, even dissuaded District Police officers from making use of the NSA against such smugglers involved in the trafficking of arms and explosives.

6. The number of LTTE cadres who are actively engaged in such operations is growing, and is estimated to be about a hundred presently. This group is in regular touch with local journalists and passes on various hand-outs and other propaganda material Recorded cassettes of songs by noted play-back singers from the Tamil Nadu film industry, eulogising Prabhakaran and paying tributes to the 'martyrs' of the LTTE's Eelam struggle, have also been brought out. LTTE cadres located in the State maintain contact with the LTTE leaders holed out in the jungles of Northern Sri Lanka. LTTE cadres injured in encounters with the IPKF in Sri Lanka are brought to Tamil Nadu with the help of smugglers for receiving medical treatment at Madras, Tiruchy and other places. At least 27 persons are now undergoing treatment in hospitals, private clinics and make-shift dispensaries. The present hospitable climate in the State is also being utilised by LTTE cadres to purchave items of daily use for being sent to the �struggle zones' of Sri Lanka-rain-coats and uniform material for cadres engaged in the battle against the IPKF are a few of such items.

7. Madras is the main Communication Centre of the LTTE for establishing contact with the outside world. It is estimated that a monthly expenditure of Rs.5 to 6 lakhs is being incurred for the maintenance of the LTTE and their activities in Tamil Nadu. Funds are received both through smugglers and hawala transactions.

8. LTTE activists have lately been engaged in or seen actively encouraging others to manufacture pieces of armament for use inside Sri Lanka. Raju @ Radhakrishnan, an LTTE armament expert, is presently engaged in the commercial manufacture of ammunition in Tamil Nadu and has sought the help of two local entrepreneurs for this purpose. Efforts are in progress to make moulds and 'dye-casts' and certain other items for despatch to Sri Lanka. Sophisticated items and accessories smuggled into India from abroad are also being cannibalised and transformed into timing devices which are used in bombs and land mines. Madras and Coimbatore have emerged as major centres for the manufacture of arms and ammunition for the LTTE.

9. To check the smuggling of arms and ammunition and free movement of LTTE activities, it will be necessary to augment the strength and reach of the Coast Guard and Naval units for more intensified patrolling. Stringent restrictions will be needed on the movement of fishing boats in International waters. Implementing certain other measures like tightening the vigil on the sale of explosives by wholesale dealers, denying smugglers access to explosives and effective policing of vulnerable areas on the coast will, however, need the active support and co-operation of the State Government.


1. The ideal landing places in the segment from Sayalkudi southern most point to Athankarai are Mookaiyur, Valinokkam, Yerwadi, Keelakarai,Periapatnam, Rameswaram Island, Mandapam, Pirasamvalasari, Athankarai.

2. The ideal landing places in the segment from Athankarai to Mimisal are Devipatnam, Thiruppalakudi, Thondi, Arasankarai, Muthukuda, Mimisal.

3. The ideal landing places in the segment from Mimisal to Pachai Theevu are Kottaipatnam, Manamaralkudi, Chinnamalai, Mallipatnam, Adirampatnam, Pachai Theevu.

4. The ideal landing places in the segment from Pachai Theevu to Nagapattinam are Rodikarai, Kodikadu, Vedaranyam."

The above assessment appears to be in consonance with the ground realities as evident from the half hearted measures taken by the State Government authorities in checking LTTE activities in the State. It appears that in the State of Tamil Nadu, at this juncture, such an atmosphere was prevailing where the regional parties played the LTTE card openly during elections to obtain votes. The fact that public sentiments had been moulded in favour of the LTTE is evident from the election propaganda made for the D.M.K. leader Shri V. Gopalaswamy during the Sivakasi by election campaign.

During this campaign, there were reports that armed LTTE had infiltrated the constituency. The local Superintendent of Police, in his detailed report, (Annexure M-26) brought out the factual picture as follows :

(Letter no C.11 (A) 946/C dated 1.12.89 from �Q'branch CID to Secretary Govt . of Tamil Nadu with regard to alleged movemnts of LTTE men in Siavakasi Parliametary Constltuency enclosing thw report of SP Ramarajar district.

"Discreet enquiries revealed that the volunteers of Liberation Tigers Friendship Society (60) headed by K.Ramakrishnan of Coimbatore State Organising Secretary and General Secretary (R) Anti Veeramani came to this district on 8.11.89 for electioneering campaign for Vai Gopalsamy. They moved about this district in batches canvassed voters by wearing T-shirts, with drawing of LTTE supremo Thiru Prabhakaran at the front and the LTTE emblem tiger at the back. The volunteers now removed their labled shirts as there were rumours spread among the public branding them LTTE terrorists. The volunteers had been doing door to door canvass for Thiru Vai. Gopalsamy, pasting wall posters with the portrait of Thiru Vai.Gopalsamy standing at the middle of LTTE leaders Thiru Prabhakaran and Thiru Muthaiah having laid hands on their shoulders.

It is also learnt that their aspiration is to strive for the success of the candidate Thiru.Vai. Gopalsamy with the unique reason that he had voiced at the Parliament for the cause of LTTE and for his secret journey to Sri Lanka.

There is no reliable information about the alleged infiltration of LTTE men with weapons in Sivakasi Parliamentary Constituency to create problem or riot on polling day."

By this time, in the State of Tamil Nadu, there is evidence of instances involving organised smuggling activities by the LTTE, their engagement of local smugglers to work for them; active assistance provided by a section of Tamil chauvinist groups to the LTTE in their war efforts in form of manufacture and smuggling of armaments and ammunition and establishment of LTTE bases in Tamil Nadu.

It is noticed that these activlties contlnued to proliferate and reached an alarming proportion in the coming months leading to extremely serious repercussions,

Intimidation of Customs Personnel by LTTE

45. The unfettered activities of the Sri Lankan Tamil militants in the State took a turn for the worse when the LTTE operatives began openly confronting the Central Agencies such as the Customs who were engaged in anti smuggl ing activities in the State.

45.1 This trend was discernible for some time and increasing instances of LTTE's blatant smuggling activities were making the local Customs authorities apprehensive. LTTE cadres and smugglers were openly carrying arms and did not hesitate to flaunt them. This apprehension was voiced by Shri. M.G. Venugopalan, Collector, Customs and Central Excise, Trichy. In his letter dated 29.08.89 addressed to Sri Ashoke Joshi, Secretary, Public Department, Govt of Tamil Nadu; (Annexure M-27) expressed deep concern about this new development. He stated :

"3. Of late, it is reported by the Customs Officers deputed for road patrol at vulnerable points of Vedaranyam, Pattukottai and Muthupet areas at night that persons belonging to LTTE groups are freely travelling in Ambassador cars, Maruti vans and jeeps carrying AK-47 automatic weapons which they openly display and they never pay heed to Customs signals for check. At times, they stop the vehicle and as soon as they get down from their vehicles, they display the automatic weapons hung on to their shoulders.

Wounded militants are found to be carried in the vehicles for emergent treatment in the local hospitals. Their replies are evasive and on a number of occasions, the Customs officers doing duty have been openly challenged and even fired at. Fortunately, no untoward incident has happened so far, as the Customs Officers have been discreet in such circumstances. In almost all these cases , it is noticed that militants are being sheltered by the said Viswanadhan, Rajathambi and Meyyappan and a number of wounded militants have been brought from Sri Lanka and admitted at the local hospitals at Tanjore, Salem, Madras etc., for treatment. These informations have been passed on periodically to the police officials but no action seems to have been taken against such activities.

You would agree with me that there developments do not augur well. If the militants are allowed free movement with automatic weapons in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, it is a only matter of time before the civil administration in the area collapsed and we have to take due notice of these developments in the proper perspective. The public are aware of the fact that the aforesaid persons are noted smugglers and their sheltering the militants is only another dimension to their illegal activities."

It is evident that the State machinery did not heed to these apprehensions of the Customs department. There is no evidence to show whether any LTTE cadres were apprehended, any weapons seized or any preventive measures taken to check the regular inflow of wounded LTTE cadres who were arriving on India shores for treatment. The political stance of the D.M.K., which was pro LTTE and anti -IPKF, appears to have permeated the State bureaucracy as well was the State law enforcing machinery. This can be the only explanation for the complete lack of action seen on the part of the State authorities even when serious instances continued to be brought to their notice by various intelligence and enforcement agencies of the Central Government.

A serious incident of intimidation -of Customs personnel by the LTTE occurred soon after.

On 26th. September, 1989, the Collector, Customs, wrote another letter to the Secretary, Public Department, Govt of Tamil Nadu, (Annexure M-2B) enclosing the copy of the letter dated 25 addressed to Station House Officer, Sethubhavachathram PS, Tanjore by the Assistant Collector, Trichy, with regard to the incident.

In his letter, the Assistant Collector, Trichy, on 25.09.89, had intimated the Local Police Station House Officer, Sethubhavachathram as follows:

"On 23.09.89 for working out a specific information received by the DRI, Trichy, the Customs Divisional Preventive Superintendent and his staff, Trichy, were directed by me for working out the same. By 1630 hrs on 23.09.89 the Superintendent alongwith six Inspectors and two sepoys with DRI Intelligence Officer, had proceeded in two vehicles to the coastal area of Manore.

The information was that one lorry with arms and ammunitions would arrive from Salem and the goods would be exported through the coast off 3 Kms South of Manore between 1800 hrs and 2000 hrs. The party had reached the spot about 1930 hrs and arranged a picket near Pillayarthidal south of Manore. At about 2130 hrs they have heard the sound of the vehicle from the fields in between the sea and the main road, where they were stationed. So they had blocked the road and were on alert to intercept any vehicle. Suddenly, two gypsy vans bearing Regn nos TSK 6307 and TSI 3952 had come from the fields without headlights.

On reaching their picket point, the lights of those vehicles were put on by the occupants and even earlier they had stopped the vehicles. Three men armed with Sten guns had alighted from the vehicles and challenged our staff to give them the way. Two more men had followed from the Gypsy van. One of them was having a Walkie talkie and a pistol. He had contacted somebody through the walkie talkie and was receiving instructions. They had threatened all our officers to give them way, failing which they would shoot the officers and commit suicide. Finally-, after a persuasion, our staff had searched the vehicles and had found no contrabands in their vans. On further enquiry they had revealed that they had exported some medicines through the sea and they were returning.

They had also threatened our customs officers to allow to go immediately without any further detention. As the Superintendent did not want to risk the lives of the officers and as there was no contraband in the vehicles he had no action but allowed them to proceed and had returned to the Hqrs., Trichy at 0200 hrs on 24.09.89."

The incident appears to have been played down totally by the State Administration. From available records, it appears that beyond registering a case, nothing more was done. No accused were identified, the vehicles - whose regiatration numbers had been furnished, were not seized, and no arrests were. This is a typical example of apathy and appears to be a case of deliberate negligence in tackling the Sri Lankan militants.

Instead of taking action against the militants, it appears that the local police put up reports criticising the Customs Department and even accusing them of connivance. The 'Q' Branch report on this incident, furnished to the Government after a delay of 3 months, on 23rd. December, 1989, stated that with regard to the aforesaid incident a case in Cr.No 302/89 U/s 352,353 IPC and Sec 25 (1) of Indian Arms Act was registered by Sethubhavachathiram PS .

They further informed that the Customs officials neither informed the Police in advance nor immediately after the occurrence. It was also stated that the local smugglers are also in the habit of fooling the customs officials in connivance with the subordinate staff of Central Excise and Customs. It was reported that the Customs officials move in plain clothes and while on duty in coastal areas and in small groups which makes them difficult to meet any situation easily. It is further mentioned that "the customs officials who are armed like the police could very well take effective action against the Sri Lankan Tamil militants in the course of discharge of their duties."

Abduction of Customs Personnel by the LTTE

45.2 Given the scenario where the State Administration was totally apathetic to the growing militant activities of the Sri Lankan Tamil groups in the State, the job of the enforcement agencies of the Central Government appears to have become increasingly difficult.

An example of a serious dereliction of duty on the part of the State Law enforcing machinery came to light when an Inspector of Customs, Shri R. Govindaraj and several customs personnel were abducted by the LTTE on 7th. December, 1989, taken to Sri Lanka, and subsequently released on 23rd. December, 1983. The customs patrol boat, in which they had been traveling, was also hijacked by the LTTE. No action, whatsoever, appears to have been taken by the local police to identify and arrest the accused involved in this serious case, although, names of some of the accused were subsequently known. The case, obviously, thoroughly demoralised the Customs personnel, while the State authorities remained mute spectators.

A detailed description of the incident is available in a letter written by DIGI 'Q' C.I.D. to the Chief Secretary to T.N. Government. (Annexure M-29) Details of this incident are as follows :

" ....report .... dated 24.1.90, received from the Superintendent of Police, Thanjavur West district on the above subject is enclosed for the information of the Government."

"On 16.12.89 at 1545 Hrs. Tr. Subbaiah, Asst. Collector of Customs, Nagapattinam through a special Messenger lodged a complaint at Muthupettai P.S. stating that on 7.12.89 at 1100 Hrs. Customs Inspector Tr.Govindaraj of Preventive Unit, Muthupettai along with 5 other members who went to the sea on special raid in the Bay of Bengal with arms and ammunition in a fibre glass motor boat fitted with two 55 H.P. Engine had not returned and all possible efforts were taken to trace them but in vain, and requested action. In this connection, a case in Muthupettai P.S. Cr.No.538/89 u/s Man Missing was registered. Investigation revealed the following facts.

"On 7.12.89 at about 1100 Hrs., the Customs preventive party, Muthupettai Unit, consisting of Inspector Tr.Govindarajan, Sea-man Gunasekaran, sea- man Jaganathan, Sepoy Natharsha, Sepoy Ganapathi and Cook Paneerselvam left for sea-patrolling in a fibre glass mechanised boat fitted with two 55 H.P. engines. The party carried Revolver - 1 with 6 rounds SLR gun - 1 with 14 rounds of ammunition, 303 rifle - 1 with 18 rounds and VHFset and ration articles for three days. They reached the Lagoon (About 10 km. from Muthupettai) at about 12 noon. After dropping cook Paneerselvam in the lagoon with some of the ration articles and utensils for cooking, the other few personnel led by Inspector Govindarajan went ahead into the sea for their first round of patrolling.

When the customs party was patrolling the sea near Mallipattinam coast, they noticed a boat nearing them at about 19.00 Hrs. They contacted the boat over VHF set and got the reply that L.T.T.E. personnel are coming from Sri Lanka. The Customs personnel disclosed their identity and immediately the LTTE personnel fired some rounds in the air with their machine guns. The customs personnel repeatedly did not open fire. The LTTE personnel came near them and at gun-point, they took the customs personnel in their (LTTE) boat. The customs boat taken over by two LTTE personnel and both the boats were brought to Manora coast near Mallipattinam.

The LTTE personnel brought the customs personnel on the Manora shore. They contacted one Ravi (LTTE) who was waiting in the shore with some gunny bag parcels for loading to Sri Lanka. After consultation, they took back the customs personnel to the LTTE boat. The gunny bag parcels were loaded in the customs boat. Both the boats started sailing towards Kodiakarai at 2230 Hrs. and from there towards the Sri Lankan coast. They reached the Jaffna coast at about 0530 Hrs. on 8.12.89. The customs personnel were detained in a house on the sea-shore (exact location not known) and shifted to another house nearby on the night.

On 9.12.89, the Customs personnel were taken in another boat for about l00 Kms. distance and taken to an LTTE camp in a forest with eyes blindfolded. They were detained in this camp from 9.12.89 till 20.12.89. They could not know the exact location of the camp but they came to know that the name of the camp was "Udhaya Peedam" and one Robert (LTTE) was the leader of this camp. He assured to return the customs personnel to India soon, but they did not know why they were detained. They were treated well in this camp and given food three times a day.

The customs personnel were brought back to the original place (Jaffna coast) on 21.12.89 by boat and kept in the same house. As the sea was rough on 21 and 22, the boat could not be operated. On 23.12.89, night the five customs officials were brought from Jaffna coast to Kodiakkarai. They were taken in the LTTE boat with three LTTE personnel, and the customs boat was driven by two LTTE cadres. On nearing the Rodiakkarai coast at about 0030 Hrs. on 24.12.98, the customs personnel were put into their own boat and allowed to go, with a warning that they should not henceforth intervene in the LTTE activities. The customs personnel reached Thupettai at about 0600 Hrs. from Kodiakkarai and reported the superintendent of Customs, Pattukottai who took them to Trichy to meet the Addl. Collector of Customs. All their articles and arms and ammunition were intact.

The case is pending investigation."

This is a shocking case of abduction. From the facts of the case as brought out during investigation, it becomes clear that the Customs officials were abducted from Indian territory by the LTTE smugglers, who had intimidated them by opening fire from their automatic weapons. The LTTE cadres had taken instructions from their leader Ravi before deciding to abduct the Customs officials and hijack their boat to Sri Lanka. Name of the LTTE cadre - one Robert - who held these officials in custody in Jaffna, has also been brought out.

The motive for the abduction also becomes clear from the above report. The LTTE, while releasing these officials, warned them not to interfere with the activities of the LTTE.

The manner in which the investigation of this crime has been dealt with indicates not only apathy, but extreme reluctance on the part of the State authorities to bring out the real all the facts were clear to the investigators, the appropriate sections of law were not applied. No investigation appears to have been conducted and the case, apparently was brushed under the carpet. This is evident from the manner in which this incident has been described in Affidavit no. 18/93-JCI submitted before the Commission by the then Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu, Shri. T.V. Venkataraman. In the affidavit, the incident has been described as follows :

"5 I submit that on 7.12.1989 morning at about 11.00 hrs., Thiru Govindarajan, Customs Inspector, 2 seamen and 2 sepoys set sail into sea in a boat near Muthupet in Thanjavur District. They were in possession of arms and ammunition. The above Customs officials did not return and there was no information about them inspite of thorough search made by several groups of officers and men in the sea by making use of helicopters and coastal ships. The missing Customs Officials returned safely to Kodiakkarai on 24.12.1989 morning with their arms and ammunition intact. It is suspected that the Sri Lankan Tamil militants or smugglers might have kidnapped them. No complaint of kidnapping was preferred by Thiru Govidarajan, Customs Inspector, with the local police and as such no case was registered by the police."

The above contents of the affidavit appear contrary to facts. The affidavit does not state that the LTTE had abducted the Customs officials after opening fire, taken them to Jaffna, kept them in their custody and subsequently let them off with a warning not to interfere with LTTE activities in future.

The affidavit also wrongly states that no case was registered. The fact is that a case in Muthupettai P.S. Cr.No.538/89 u/s Man Missing was registered and investigated. After the registration of the case, it was the duty of the local police to add the appropriate sections of law as disclosed by investigation and to take further action in the matter, Apparently, no follow up action whatsoever was taken, so much so that, while relating the incident in his affidavit, the Chief Secretary appears to have forgotten that a case had been registered in connection with the disappearance of the Customs party.

Shri R. Nagarajan, the then Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu, while deposing before the Commission on 16th. September, 1996, also gave a misleading statement regarding this incident. He stated :

"There was a report regarding kidnapping of Superintendent of Customs, Govindarajan. This was discussed at the Cabinet Secretary�s level. He returned after fifteen days of his own and he refused to give the statement. It is a fact that he was kidnapped. But it was not confirmed that he was kidnapped by the LTTE"

A possible nexus between the DMK party and the LTTE is disclosed in an unusual communication pertaining to the abduction. The then Union Secretary, (Revenue), Ministry of Finance, wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu tAnnexure M-30) with an unusual request that the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Shri Karunanidhi may talk to the LTTE to arrange the release of the abducted officials. The letter, which is dated 2lst. December, 1989, also makes it evident that it was common knowledge at that time that the Customs officials were abducted by the LTTE. The letter is reproduced below :

(Letter dt . 21.12.1989, No.D.O. N.K.Sengupta Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue addressed to Shri M.M. Rajendran, Chief Secrtary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu)

"We are concerned with the report that Inspector R.Govindaraj and several sepoys of the Customs Preventive Party at Muthupet Coast, have been missing since 7th December and are reported to be held captive by the LTTE somewhere in Sri Lanka. Their family members are naturally very apprehensive about their lives and safety. Foreign Secretary has sent a communication to Chief Minister, Tamil. Nadu. I shall be grateful if you kindly remind C.M. to take it up with the LTTE authorities immediately.

The letter also discloses that, apparently, the Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, had also written to the Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu, in this connection; however, no such evidence had been produced before the Commission in this regard.

Cases Registered Against Sri Lankan Militants

46 On the records of the State Government, a number of cases are seen to have been registered against Sri Lankan Tamil militants. The cases mostly pertain to smuggling activities including smuggling of drugs and gold. Many cases are seen to have been detected by the customs Department and the coast Guard.

List of cases which have been reported in the fortnightly reports of the T.N. CID, 'Q' branch to the Government of Tamil Nadu give a glimpse of the illegal activities of Sri Lankan Tamil militants in Tami l Nadu. Following noteworthy cases have been reported in the 'Q' Branch reports :

i) On 23.07.89 at about 1945 hrs Inspector Lawand order R2 Kodambakkam Police Station and party arrested two Sri Lankan Tamils Vasanthagunasingham and Yogendran for possession of 10 gms of brown sugar worth Rs 1400/- Cases in R2 Kodambakkam PS Cr.No 2471/89 and 2472/89 u/s 21 of NDPS Act (Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic SubstancesAct) were registered.

ii) On 23.07.89 at about 2115 hrs Inspector Law and order R2 Kodambakkam Police station and party arrested two Sri Lankan Tamils Puvaneswaram and Prabhakaran for possession of 12 gms of brown sugar worth Rs 1500. Cases in R2 Kodambakkam PS Cr.No 2473 and 2474/89 u/s 21 NDPS were registered.

iii) On 26.07.89 evening by 1600 hrs Sub Inspector of Police, "Q" branch CID Madurai city arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee Jayaseelan (20) at Sivaganga road , Madurai for possession of wireless telegraphic key and radio electronic component worth Rs 500 without licence. A case in Karupayarani PS Cr.No 412/89 u/s 41(2) and 102 Cr.PC was registered and the properties seized.

(fortnightly report for the period ending 31.07.89)

On 05.08.89 the Inspector of Police, (Law and order) R5 Cholaimedu PS Madras City arrested 3 Sri Lankan Tamils (1) Ramesh @ Lee (2) Jeganathan and (3) Jagadeesh (TELO -Subash group) of Cholaimedu for having possession of one gram of brown sugar. In this connection cases in R5 Cholaimedu PS Cr.No 1057/89 to 10l9/89 u/s 21 NDPS Act were registered .

v) On 06.08.89 the Inspector of Police, R 5 Choolaimedu PS Madras City arrested two Sri Lankan Tamils (1) Jayasingham @ Jaya (2) Ramesh (TELO) and seized 2.25 gms of brown sugar. Cases in R5 Choolaimedu PS Cr.Nos 1020/89 and 1021/89 u/s 21 NDPS Act were registered.

On 11.08.89 the Inspector of Police, NIB Madras and party arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil Rajendran @ Rajan (24) at Murugesa Gramini Nagar, Sembalam and recovered 12 gms of Heroin Powder from him. In this connection a case in NIB Cr.No 37/89 u/s 21 NDPS Act was registered.

(fortnightly report of Q branch for the period ending 16.08.89.)

On 12.09.89 the Coast Guard men of Mandapa intercepted a plastic boat in the midsea and arrested two Sri Lankan smugglers Arokianathan (40) and Joseph Fernandoz (25) and a local man Joseph (24) of Kodiakarai, Thanjavar East district with Indian made clothes and one motor (9 HP) for boat all worth Rs 30000/-. The contrabands and the goods were handed over to the Customs officials of Mandapam, A case in their office OS No l/89 u/s 108 of Customs Illicit Export Act was registered.

On 14.09.89 Pattukottai Police of Thanjavur West District arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil Ravi @ Castro, a PLOT dissident and a local man Gunasekharan of Keelaiyoor concerned in Oratha Nadu PS Cr.No 33/89 u/s 457 and 380 IPC (D/o :10.2.89) in which these two accused along with another Sri Lankan Tamil Salim also a PLOT dissident committed theft of an Amman Statue. On their confession the stolen property was recovered. Besides Police also seized a 0.38 revolver from a local man Pandian of Orathanadu. Salim is reported to have gone to the island. All the three accused are ex-Convicts.

On 14.09.89 by 1300 hrs at Lakshmi Nagar, Nanganallur in Chengai Anna district two persons suspected to be Sri Lankan Tamils came in Yamaha motor cycle TSI 3507 snatched a gold chain with Thali weighing 6 sovereigns worth Rs 12000/- from the neck of a lady, Shanti of Nanganallur and escaped in the bike. But the bike was left abandoned some distance from the scene of crime. A case in Pazhavanthangal PS Cr.No 372/89 u/s 379 IPC was registered. Efforts have been taken to trace the culprits.

( fortnightly reports for the period ending 15.09.89)

x) A Sri Lankan Tamil, Chandrasekaran who was arrested in Mandapam PS Cr No. 650/89, u/s 457, 380 IPC escaped from the custody on 17.8.89 while undergoing treatment at Government Headquarters Hospital, Ramnad. In this connection, a case in Ramnad Town PS Cr. No. 516J89 u/s 224 IPC was registered and the same is under investigation.

In D.5 Marina P.S. Cr. No. 865/89 u/s 307 IPC r/w 25 Indian Arms Act, which occured on 31.7.89 two Sri Lankan Tamils (1) Selvakumarand (2) Kantharupan were arrested by Inspector of Police (LSO), D-5, Marina Police Station on 18.8.89. The Sri Lankan Tamils were working in a Panama ship, "M.V. Sea Pirate" They were remanded to Judicial custody.

xii) Five suspected Sri Lankan smugglers are reported to have landed in the seashore of Akkarai village, in Mahabalipuram PS. limits Chengalpattu West district on 22.8.89 morning by 0630 hours with some contrabands from a mechanised fibre-glass boat. The contrabands were loaded in a jeep waiting in the seashore. The jeep vanished taking the goods and returned after sometime with fuel cans. When the fuel cans were loaded in the boat, the local villagers gathered. The smugglers opened f re to scare them and escaped leaving the boat. One among them by name Rathiresan (19) of Velevettithurai was apprehended by customs officials. The customs officials also seized the boat with three engines and fuel cans. Investigation continues.

xiii) On 25.8.89 noon when the cashier of Chitlapakkam Panchayat Union of Chengai Anna East district was returning from Tambaran treasury in bicycle, with cash Rs. 1,68,000/ in a cloth bag, two persons in the age group of 20 to 25 suspected to be Sri Lankan TamiIs followed the cashier in a red colour Motor Cycle. They waylaid the cashier at the Second Main Road, Chitlapakkam, pushed him down with the cycle, snatched the cloth bag containing the cash brandishing a revolver and sped towards Tambaram. One of the culprits is reported to be wearing a red shirt and the other a white baggy shirt. A case in Chitlapakkam PS Cr. No. 412/89 u/s 392 IPC was registered. Two live rounds was of revolver were seized from the scene of crime.

xiv) On 27.8.89 at T. Nagar, Madras, a Sri Lankan Tamil by name Dayalan (26) was arrested by NIB officers for possession of 25 grams of heroin powder worth Rs. 2500/-. A case in NIB Cr. No. 39/89 u/s 21 of Narcotic Drugs (Psychotropic 6ubstances Act) was registered.

On 31.8.89 Customs officials of Madurai arrested two Sri Lankan Tamils and another local of Courtalam and seized 13.922 Kg of gold in 120 pieces worth Rs. 45 lakhs. The name of one of the arrested Sri Lankan Tamils is reported to be Anandan (30). Interrogation continues.

(Fortnight report for the period ending 31.8.89)

xvi) A Sri Lankan Tamil, Vigneswaran (23) residing in Thiruvanmiyoor preferred a written complaint before Triplicane Crime Police stating that on 18.8.89 afternoon when he was witnessing a cinema in Devi Paradise theatre some unknown person befriended him. During the interval he brought him some snacks, after consuming which he felt giddy. After the show he took him in an auto to the beach and a little later, he lost consciousness. When he woke up he found himself alone and his cash Rs. 500-/, 2-1/2 60vereign Gold chain and his wrist watch all worth R6. 6,500/- missing. A case in D1 Triplicane PS Cr. No. 2828/89 u/8 420 IPC was registered. The cave is under investigation.

xvii) On 20.9.89 evening by 1730 hours. S.I. of police, Coast Guard, Mandapam and party arrested three Sri Lankan Tamils, 1. Rajakumar, 2. Maruppannan and 3. Ramachandran near the coastal area of Ayyanarkoil, Mandapam with Rs . 2, 000/- worth of beedi bundles and lungies kept ready to be ferried to the island. The contraband were seized. Among them, Kuruppannan and Ramachandran are residing in the refugee camp at Mandapam. Rajakumar is reported to he from Vavuniya. A case in Mandapam P.S. Cr. No. 815/89 u/s 110 Indian Customs Acc was registered. The accused persons were sent for remand.

On 20/2l.9.89 night by 0045 Hrs when a Maruti Car TN 09 1798 in which four persons (i) Ruban, a Sri Lankan residing in Madras, (ii) Jeganathan of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, (iii) Dhanapalsingham of Jaffna, Sri Lanka and (iv) Vasanthakumar of Agra, Uttar Pradesh were travelling from Madras to Velankanni, their car met with an accident at Putheri in Chengai Anna East district. The car dashed against a lorry and a bus resulting the death of three occupants of the car: two Sri Lankans Jeganathan and Dhanapalsingham and Vasanthakumar stabbed the President Varadharajan with knives in his chest and right flank .... . The fourth man Ruban also a Sri lankan residing in Anna Nagar West Madras was seriously injured. He was admitted in the General Hospital, Madras for treatment. A case in Maraimalai Nagar PS Cr. No. 287/89 u/s 279, 337 and 3C4 IPC was registered. The case is under investigation.

(Fortnightly report for the period ending 30.9.89).

On 4.10.89 by 2230 hrs, four Sri Lankan Tamils, Sureshkumar(21), Chandran(21), Subramanian(20) and Karan trespassed into the house of Mr. Varadharajan, Panchayat Board President of Periyakuthagai village Vedaranyam PS. limit, Thanjavur Eant district, stabbed the President Varadharajan with knives in his chest and right flank and attempted to escape after committing theft of two suitcases kept in his house. A neighbour Sofia raised alarm on seeing them coming out of his house with two suitcases.

She also received stab injury on her back. On hearing the alarm raised by Sofia, the villagers chased the culprits and managed to secure one of the culprits, Sureshkumar with one suitcase. Local police also swung into action and secured another culprit Chandran at Vettaikaran Eruppu village with the other suit case. However, two more culprits managed to escape. President Varadharajan has been admitted in the Government hospital, Nagapattinam for treatment. The injured Sofia was also admitted in Vedaranyam hospital. A case in Vedaranyam PS.Cr.No.670/89 u/s 392 IPC was registered and it is under investigation.

On 5.10.89 by 1045 Hrs. six Sri Lankan Tamils along with two women went to the house of another Sri Lankan Tamil Jeyaratne residing at NoS30 B, South boag road, T.Nagar, Madras-17, in a Maruti car TDG 3559 and demanded Jeyaratne to part with cash Rs.12 lakhs, one Maruti van and a car by brandishing revolver. As the occupants of the house raised alarm ,they were pushed inside the kitchen and locked outside. Again by 1310 Hrs., the occupants shouted for help. When the neighbours gathered, the culprits are reported to have told them that Jeyaratne has to give them Rs.4 1/2 lakhs and added that it was their family matter, and escaped in the Maruti car. Mr.Jeyaratne preferred a complaint before R.1 Mambalam police and it was registered as Cr.No.1856/89 u/s 448 and 506(2)IPC. It is under investigation

(Fortnight report for the period ending 15-10-89)

xxi) On 17-10-89 Thiru Lawrence, Special Deputy Collector (Refugees), Mardapam Camp produced a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee by name Nithiyanantham, S/o.Penatic, residing at Door No.28/8 Mandapam Camp, with 16 ganja packets before Sub-Inspector of Police (Law and Order) Mandapam Police Station. In this connection a case in Mandapam PS.Cr.No.859/89 u/s 20(b) Narcotic Drugs Act 1985 was registered. The case is under investigation.

Two TELO dissidents Thiagu @ Gnanam @ Gnanaraj @ Anderson @ Thambi age 20 of Kilinochi and Johnson @ Antony @ Anbalagan age 21 of Trincomalee were arrested on 29 10.89 by 1230Hrs. at Mahamaham, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur West District by local Crime Inspector Thangadurai and party, when they attempted to dispose of a stolen TVS Suzuki Motor cycle TCE 6423. The vehicle was seized. A case in Kumbakonam South P.S.Cr.No.980/89 u/a 41(1) and 102 Cr. P.C. was registered. The case is under investigation.

(Fortnight repprt for the perlod ending 31.10.89)

xxiii) On 7.11.89 Inspector, 'Q' Branch, CID., Madurai City and party under the direct supervision of D.S.P. 'Q' Madurai searched the room No .37 of Deluxe Lodge, West Perumal Maistri Street, Madurai town, where Sri Lankan. Tamils were staying. There were two Sri Lankan Tamils: (i) Naresh (23) (ii) Surednran @ Padmanabhan (22), and three locals (i) Barathi(28), (ii) Sivakumar (24) (iii) Dayalan (25). They were found in possession of one bottle of brandy. and 5 grams of ganja without any licence. Moreover, the Sri Lankan did not have any valid documents to stay in India. They were also found in possession of a Kawasaki motor cycle without any registration number and registration certificate. All the five persons were arrested. The motor cycle, brandy and ganja were seized. Cases in Madurai City B.10 PS.Cr.Nos. 2354 to 2358/89 u/s 3(3) of Indian Passport Act, Sec.20(b) of NDPS Act and COC. (1) a of Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act were registered. They were sent for remand.

(Fortnight report for the period ending 15.11.89)

xxiv) On 25.11.89 morning Roman Catholic Priest of Palavanthangal in Chengai Anna East district Fr.Y.F. Bosco preferred a complaint before local police about the theft of some music instruments, cash etc. from his house, suspecting a Sri Lankan Tamil Joe @ Terance Kumar who is also residing in the Church complex. A case in Palavanthangal P.S. Cr.No 440/89 u/s 457 and 380 IPC was registered. On 25.11.89 evening the complainant asked the suspected Sri Lankan Tamil to hand over the stolen articles to him, at his house, in presence of another man Joe Philip working in Hindustan Petroleum. Immediately, the Sri Lankan Tamil drew a pistol from his pocket, aimed at the Priest and Joe Philip, and pressed the trigger. But fortunately it did not explode. Immediately, the Srl Lankan Tamil escaped leaving one live cartridge in the scene. On the complaint preferred by the Priest another case in Palavanthangal PS.Cr.No.441/89 U/8 25 (1) Indian Arms Act was registered.

(Fortnight report for the period ending 30.11.89)

46.1 In Salem district, there were a series of serious incidents involving Sri Lankan militants, who, on 29th. December, 1989, repeatedly shot at police parties seriously injuring two Sub Inepectors of police, one police constable and two civilians. The incidents have been described in details in the report of the Superintendent of Police, Salem (Annexure M-31), relevant portions of which are excerpted below :

(Letter No . C .No. 1921/10/SB/89 dt. 31.12 .89 from S.P. , Salem dist . on the sub Sales District - detailed report of cases in which Sri Lankan Tamils involved.")

"On 29.12.89, at about 0740 Hrs. one Thiru Natarajalingam aged 55 S/o Sammanda Mudaliar, 184/G5 Nedunchalii Nagar, Sooramangalam, Salem District appeared at Sooramangalam Police station and gave a oral complaint that one Raghavan along with unknown persons came to his house on 0700 Hrs. and demanded Rs. one lakh from him on pointing a revolver and threatened him and also threatened his wife Subathira with AK 47 Rifle. He refused to part with the money demanded. The accused took the key-bunch of the Fiat Car ARR 3232 belongs to the complainant.

They also took one portable typewriter and a national two in one tape recorder from the house. They also disconnected the telephone and decamped with the booty in the said car. The complainant Natarajalingam also informed Police Control Room, Salem over phone, from the neighbouring house, immediately after the occurrence. One receipt of the message the entire district police and bordering districts were alerted by the District Special Branch Office, Salem. In this connection a case in Sooramangalam PS. Cr.No.1024/89 u/s 454, 392 IPC and 25(1) (B) (a) Arms Act was registered by S.I. Sooramangalam Crime at 0740 Hours on the same day.

In response to the message the car ABR 3232 was identified by the S.I. of Police Thiru Venkatesan at Mecheri at 9 A.M. who conducted a Road Block. On seeing the pose of Police party the occupants of the car opened fire with AK 47 rifle and caused serious injuries on the left shoulder of S.I. Tr. Venkatesan. The driver reversed the car and sped away towards Tholasampatty road and parked the car at Sengattur close to the forest, near hillock.

In the meanwhile Superintendent of Police, Salem, D.Ss.P. Salem Town and Mettur along with a Police party took a hot pursuit of the fleeing accused and surrounded them at Sengattur hillock area. Police party from Nangavalli P.S. were also searching the accused in a private micro van TAN 5899. The accused on seeing the Police party opened fire and damaged the above said van. P.C. 1437 Nayarajan had sustained bullet injuries on both legs. D.S.P. Salem Town and his party chased the accused. At about 11 A.M. S.I. Thiru Ramasamy of Nangavalli P.S. along with the General Public were surrounding Moolakkatto Valasu. The accused on seeing S.l. Thiru Rangasamy opened fire with AK 47 rifle on the S.I. and caused injuries on his left leg. Among the public one Jokkupaiyan age 30 S/o. Kathan, Madhanaickenpatti 2. Sukkunnu age 34 S/o.Kannupaiyan, Madhanaickenpatti had sustained injuries.

On seeing this the public pelted stones on the accused and assaulted with sticks. D.S.P. Salem Town and his party were coming behind the accused arrested the four accused and identified them as l.Gopu @ Mottaiyan (28) S/Q.Perumanayagam Sayeebaba Colony, Coimbatore, 2. Vasudevan (28) S/o.Rajarathinam, Navalkudi, Jaffna now at No. 60, Vadavalliyur Road, Coimbatore, 3. SaYathkumar (27) S/o.Peevela Achiyar, Nellayadi, Jaffna now at 60, Vadamalai Road, Coimbatore, 4. Babu(25) S/o.Ramalingam, No.5 Amman Koil street, Uppilipalayam, Coimbatore. 25. One AR 47 rifle with two live cartridges in the magazine and also two empty cartridges from the scene were recovered at 1115 Hours.

Accused Gopu sustained grievous injuries all over his body and his right let was fractured. Accused Sarathkumar sustained multiple injuries all over the body and his left had was fractured. 3. Accused Vasudevan was sustained minor injuries 4. Accused Babu sustained minor injuries. All the accused were sent to Government Head Quarters Hospital, Salem, for treatment. Accused Gopu and Sarathkumar were admitted as inpatient in the Government Head Quarters Hospital, Salem. Accused Babu and Vasudevan were treated as O.P. S.I. Thiru Venkateaan of Mecheri P.S., S.I.Tr.Ramasamy of Nangavalli P.S. and P.C.1437 Natarajan of Nangavalli P.S. who were all injured in the shoot out were admitted in government Head Quarters Hospital, Salem and they are progressing. They are out of danger. Chokkupaiyan and Sukkunnu of the Public who also sustained injuries were admitted in the Government Hospital, Mettur.

On the confession of the four accused all the stolen articles and one revolver were recovered. All the four accused were remanded to Judicial Custody on 30.12.89. In this connection the following three cases were registered and the cases are under investigation. 1. Sooramangalam P.S. Cr.No.1024/89 u/s 454, 392 and 25(1) (B) (a) arms Act, 1959. 2.Mecheri P.S. Cr. No.357/894/5224, 307, 337 IPC and 25(1) (B) (a) Arms Act 1953. 3. Nangavalli P.S. Cr.No.283/89 u/s 224, 307, 333, 324 IPC and 25(1) (B) (a) Arms Act, 1959."

The above incidents, while giving a general idea of the activities of the Sri Lankan Tamil militants in the State of Tamil Nadu, do not actually reflect the complete picture.

The correspondence between the Central Government and the State Government, the information passed by the Central Government authorities including the IPKF and the inaction on the part of the State Government in specific instances, give a distinct impression that the State Government machinery was lax and reluctant to take strict measures against the Sri Lankan militants, particularly the LTTE.

The main reason for this reluctance and apathy can be attributed to the blatantly pro LTTE and anti IPKF stance taken by majority of the regional parties including DMK--the ruling party of the period. This .trend became even more discernible as the months went by and manifested itself strongly during the year 1990. This aspect has been dealt with in details later in this chapter.

Political Developments in Sri Lanka and India and Their Impact on the Problem of Sri Lankan Tamil Militancy

47 Political developments in Sri Lanka, the attitude of the new Government headed by Shri Premadasa, the anti IPKF tirade and the negotiations of Sri Lankan Government with the LTTE have been discussed in details in a separate chapter.

Here, it will suffice to state that during 1989, LTTE emerged as strong militant group in Sri Lanka. President Premadasa openly started criticising the IPKF and opened up a regular channel for negotiations with the LTTE. It came to light that, during this period, the Sri Lankan Government also armed and funded the LTTE against India. The efforts of the IPKF in restoring normalcy in the North Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka suffered a serious setback due to these developments and the elected Government of the North East, headed by Vardharaja Perumal of the EPRLF, could not continue to function.

As the IPKF de-induction occurred in a phased manner, the internecine warfare flared up, and the LTTE started regaining control of the territory vacated by the IPKF.

In India, Shri V.P. Singh became the Prime Minister on 2nd. December, 1989. The related developments of the period have been recounted by the former Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Shri R. Nagarajan, in his affidavit no. 85/93-JCI as follows :

"During December 1989, the political scenario at Delhi had changed. Shri V.P. Singh had became the Prime Minister of India and Shri Premadasa was already elected as President of Sri Lanka. The plea for the total withdrawal of IPKF was in the air and Sri Premadasa had also repeatedly indicated his mind against the stay of IPKF in Sri Lanka. The Indo-Sri Lankan Treaty was under criticism both in Sri Lanka and in India."

The LTTE had a double advantage in this situation. On one hand, in Sri Lanka, it got a new lease of life owing to their new found nexus with the Sri Lankan Government; on the other hand, in Tamil Nadu, it had already cultivated the political leadership and managed to have an unhindered course for their activities. Subsequent related developments in Sri Lanka had their visible impact in India which became discernible by the end of 1989. These developments have been dealt with later in this chapter.



Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home