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 

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Jain Commission Interim Report

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

Sections 16 to 20

16. Dialogue between Sri Lankan Tamil militants and Shri M Karunanidhi in Madras | 17. Summing up of the situation - 1989 | 18. Reactions of LTTE after V P Singh became Prime Minister of India | 19. End of India�s direct involvement in Sri Lanka - Refugee influx and its impact on the growth of Sri Lankan militancy in India | 20. Activities of Sri Lankan militants - January- May 1990 - seizure of arms and ammunition

Dialogue Between Sri Lankan Tamil Militants and Shri M. Karunanidhi in Madras

48 Soon after Shri V.P. Singh assumed charge, on his instructions, a fresh attempt was made to end the internecine rivalries between the various Sri Lankan militant groups and to persuade the LTTE to join the political process in North Eastern Sri Lanka. In pursuance to this endeavour, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri M. Karunanidhi, held a series of meetings with the LTTE and other militant groups at Madras in December, 1989 and February, 1990. Regarding holding of this dialogue, Shri V.P. Singh, the then Prime Minister, deposed before the Commission on 15th. November, 1996, as follows:

Deposition of V.P.Singh (page No. 2-3)

".... The mandate to Shri Karunanidhi by the Central Govt., which was conveyed to him during a meeting in Delhi with me, Mr I.K. Gujral and also officials of the M.E.A. was that he should open a dialogue with all the Tamil militant groups or otherwise for a peaceful settlement amongst themselves with the purpose of participating in the democratic process of devolution of power to North Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka within the broad framework of integrity of Sri Lanka. Also it was spelt out to Shri Karunanidhi that if no solution comes.

India will no longer give any military or monetary help to any of the groups, nor allow its mainland to be used for militant activities. Our support will remain a moral one for devolution of power and we will neither militarily support nor militarily oppose Eelam. And when talks failed amongst the various militant groups, then Karunanidhi made it very clear to all the groups that while we wish peaceful settlements we cannot give any further help and he spelt out the mandate that was given to him and after that all talks closed and there was no duplicity in dealing with the affair Sri Lankan Govt. was also involved in the talks separately. So everything was on the table. These meetings extended from December 1989 to February 1990. Shri Varadaraja Perumal had also met Shri Karunanidhi."

Shri M. Karunanidhi has also given a detailed account of the meetings held by him with the LTTE and other Sri Lankan militant groups in his deposition before the Commission. He stated:

Deposition of Shri M.Karunanidhi 22-11-96

"About the time Shri V.P. Singh took over as Prime Minister, the efforts of Rajiv Gandhi to send a Parliamentary Delegation to Sri Lanka did not fructify, the reason being Prabhakaran LTTE leader had come closer to Sh.Prema Dasa, then President of Sri Lanka. After V.P. Singh became Prime Minister he asked me like Rajiv Gandhi to contact the militant groups and have dialogues with them. As Rajiv Gandhi had told me earlier V.P. Singh had asked me to summon the militant groups and discuss with them how to avoid the fighting between the militant groups and find out unity amongst them.

Why not LTTE participate in running the administration by participating in the NEPC Elections. As per the advice of the P.M. I contacted the militant groups and discussed with them. I held talks with them separately at Madras. Talks went on from December 1989 to February 1990. In the Port Trust Guest House on behalf of LTTE, Yogi.and Balasingam had come and had discussions with me, as representatives of LTTE. EPRLF, TELO and other militant groups had discussions with me at my house. The photos taken of other militant groups having discussions with me at my house which appeared in Murosoli dated 18-2-1990. This is marked as Ex. 557.

TELO was represented by Karunakaran Srikantha, PLOTE represented by Kanakaraja Visu, EROS represented by Balakumar Bashir, EPRLF represented by Somu and Santhan, ENDLF represented by Rajan and Jayakanthan in the photo appearing in the Murosoli paper. The result of the discussion was that militant groups did not agree for unity. No fruitful results came out as was expected by Rajiv Gandhi and V.P. Singh. LTTE bluntly refused to work along with the other militant groups All of them wanted to have Tamil Eelam. LTTE was of the view that LTTE alone should get Eelam. When I pursued talks, except LTTE the other militant groups agreed with me that they are agreeable to have provincial autonomy with me that they are agreeable to have provincial autonomy within the United Sri Lanka.

Beneficial outcome of these talks is that during these talks and immediately thereafter there was no inflow of refugees from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu. During these meetings there was no bloodshed between the militant groups. About this time IPKF was also in the process of returning to India and no violence was inflicted on IPKF by LTTE. Only this much result could be achieved by these talks."

The then political Advisor of Shri M. Karunanidhi, Shri Guhan has also, in his deposition before the Commission, spoken at length about these meetings. He stated :

"When the National Front Govt. came to power at the Centre, their manifesto stated that the National Front will strive to secure the safety and security of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and promote lasting peace and amity among all sections of the population in that country. It shall restore our friendly relations with Sri Lanka by withdrawing the IPKF, The DMK was a party to this manifesto. Mr V.P.Singh was sworn in as P.M. of the National Front govt on 2nd Dec, 1989. On the invitation of Prime Minister Mr. V. P. Singh, C.M. Sri Karunanidhi visited Delhi on December 11 and 12, 1989 primarily for discussion on Sri Lanka Minister, P.M. Mr. V. P. Singh and the External Affairs Minister Shri I.K. Gujral, conveyed the concerns of the new Govt following the announcement and the progress of the deinduction of the IPKF.

They felt that there might be large scale violence on several fronts in the last stage of deinduction. And immediately after its completion, they felt that this would take the form of hostilities on one hand between the Sri Lankan Govt forces and the LTTE and on the other between the LTTE and other Tamil militant groups, especially the EPRLF which had been supported after the Accord by the Govt of India. They also feared that as a consequence there was likely to be a large scale influx of civilian refugees to India and also an influx of militant groups especially the EPRLF which was the target of the LTTE.

They also felt that at the tail end of the deinduction, the LTTE might inflict heavy casualties on the IPKF itself. At the political level it was anticipated that there would be vacuum in the North Eastern region since the EPRLF Govt could not survive after the withdrawal of the Indian Army. As a consequence, the Tamils might lose what little they had gained by way of devolution. Accordingly, the Prime Minister requested the Chief Minister to hold the discussions with Sri Lankan Tamil Groups and use his good offices to ensure that these adverse consequences could be avoided.

The C.M. met the LTTE on three occasions, on 15th December 1989, 17th December 1989 and again on l6th February 1990 in the Port Trust Guest House, Madras. Mr Anton Balasingham, Mr Yogi Yogaratnam participated on behalf of the LTTE. Mrs Adele Balasingham also was present, but she did not spend in the meetings. There were no minutes of the meetings. I was present in all the three meetings with these LTTE representatives. The C.M. met the other Tamil groups, namely the EPRLF, the ENDLF, TELO, PLOTE and EROS in four meetings, sometimes together, sometimes separately. I think EROS met the C.M. separately. These meetings were held on 21st December l989, 17-2-1990, 18-2-1990, 22-2-1990

The last meeting was on 22 2-1990 when a Delegation of the EPRLF met the Chief Minister. That meeting I recall was held in the Secretariat. The Delegation was led by Mr A.Yusuf, Industries Minister of the N.E.Provincial Council. Mr Rajakaria, Speaker of the NEPC and Mr A.Kandaswami and Mrs Sreedharan.there were no further meetings held by the Chief Minister, I was present in these meetings. In all these meetings, the Chief Minister appealed to the Tamil Groups to avoid internecine bloodshed. There were lot of differences amongst the militant groups.

So they were not agreeing to meet together, this was why they were meeting separately except for one or two meetings. All other militant groups except EROS were opposed to LTTE. EROS was closer to LTTE, that is my impression. The Chief Minister pleaded and repeatedly appealed to each of the militant groups to avoid patricidal war, Sahodara Udham. He also impressed on them the need to avoid any influx of refugees to India. He put particular emphasis on the LTTE not inflicting any damages on the IPKF, at the tail end of the deinduction.

He made it clear that Govt of India would not be in a position to support any one of the militant groups in future and all that they could expect was diplomatic support to get their legitimate aspirations fulfilled within the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka. In this connection he underlined the need for all Tamil Groups to maintain good relations with the Govt of India. At the end of each meeting, the Chief Minister sent a message to the P.M. by phone or very often he used to communicate through Mr Murasoli Maran, the Central Minister at that time He also kept the P.M. informed during his visits to Delhi...

One of the points on which discussions were held with the LTTE representatives was whether LTTE was prepared to enter the North-East Provincial Council if it was reconstituted. Mr Balasingham's position was that they were not prepared to do that because they did not want any back door entry. they wanted the Prov. Council to be dismissed and fresh elections to be held. The Chief Minister then asked them if they would lay down their arms and enter the democratic process. their position was that they would not be prepared to lay down their arms. Balasingham himself would not say they would not have Eelam but they will participate in elections after dismissal of the present NEPC."

In his affidavit no. 85/93-JCI, Shri R. Nagarajan the then Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu, has described the developments of this period as follows :

".... It appeared almost certain that the IPKF withdrawal was a matter of time and only at this juncture the then Chief Minister of. Tamil Nadu Shri M. Karunanidhi was asked by the then Prime Minister of India, Shri V.P. Singh to explore the possibilities of bringing together the various Tamil militant groups of Sri Lanka. The city of Madras, the Capital of Tamil Nadu State, had became the centre of political activity. In order to find out a solution for Sri Lankan ethnic issue, various Sri Lankan Tamil Militant groups used to visit and discuss with the Chief Minister.

To start with, LTTE team headed by Sri Anton Balasingam were at Madras between 15.12.89 to 18.12.89 followed by the other groups such as EPRLF, ENDLF, EROS, TELO and PLOTE. Thiru Varadaraja Perumal, then Chief Minister of North Eastern Province of Sri Lanka also made a visit to Madras during this period and had discussion with the Chief Minister. All the deliberations were at the political level and the results of such discussions were also reported to Delhi at the political level."

48.1 The policy of the Government of India, with regard to the issue of support to the Sri Lankan Tamil groups has been enunciated by Shri V.P. Singh during his deposition before the Commission. Before the dialogue he had informed Shri Karunanidhi that if no solution was forthcoming, India would not support the Sri Lankan Tamils groups in any concrete manner and will not allow its territory to be used by the Sri Lankan militants to sustain their struggle in Sri Lanka.

It is evident from the above evidence that despite earnest efforts taken by the Chief Minister Shri Karunanidhi to persuade the LTTE to lay down arms and bring an end to internecine warfare, the LTTE remained adamant till the end and the talks ended without any satisfactory solution. LTTE was the only organisation which continued to demand the formation of Eelam and did not agree to any solution within the framework of integrated and sovereign Sri Lanka.

It appears that the parleys between the Chief Minister Shri M. Karunanidhi and the LTTE led to a situation where the LTTE got encouragement to operate in Tamil Nadu as it perceived that the Chief Minister Shri M. Karunanidhi was sympathetic to them. At the same time, this factor demoralisation of other Sri Lankan Tamil groups.

In his statement given before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tiruchy, u/s 164 (5) Cr.P.C., Shri Nagarajan, the then Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu, has elaborated on the effect of such meetings. He stated .

(Para 6)

"The visit of LTTE team .... to Madras for a preliminary discussion with the then Chief Minister under the direction from then Prime Minister V.P. Singh had further encouragement to LTTE enthusiasm on our land. Two such. meetings were held in Madras Port Trust Guest House, and the participants were only LTTE team with then Chief Minister During their two day stay in Madras, on each occasion under the oral permission of the Chief Minister, a few LTTE cadets residing locally were allowed to meet the LTTE team on deputation from Sri Lanka through the assistance of 'Q' Branch...."

Shri Nagarajan's above disclosures indicate that there were LTTE cadres staying in Madras and the fact was known to the State Government and the Chief Minister. These cadres were allowed to meet their associates from Sri Lanka with the assistance of the State Police under the patronage of Shri Karunanidhi.

The intransigence of the LTTE at this stage should have resulted in the implementation of the policy as enunciated by Shri V.P. Singh. Unfortunately, this did not occur. On the contrary, as l980 dawned, the militant activities of the Sri Lankan militant groups on the Indian soil, particularly those of the LTTE, proliferated, creating serious law and order problems having ramifications on the internal security of the country and reached a stage where the elected Government of Tamil Nadu had to be dismissed in January 1991, for its inability to check the militant activities of the LTTE in the State of Tamil Nadu.

Summing Up of the Situation--1989

49 The following intelligence reports of December, 1989, present a comprehensive picture of the situation prevailing during the year l989 with regard to the activities of Sri Lankan Tamil militants and their support system in India.:

(Cabinet Sectt (R&AW) UO No 1/17/89-SLM - 3646308 dated 22.12.89.)

8 There are indications that SLG - may be concerned over renewal of contacts between LTTE and the Government of India through Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. The strategy and behaviour of LTTE cadres on the ground have also not been reassuring and probably is causing some concern to the SLG. ..."

The following report of the Intelligence Bureau dated 27,12,89 (Annexure M-w2) gives a broad account of the situation prevailing in Tamil Nadu during 1989:

"After the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of July l987, Sri Lankan Tamil Groups operating from Tamil Nadu had gradually withdrawn from the State to Sri Lanka, leaving only a token presence behind, mainly for purposes of liaison propaganda and other activities. Militant groups like the EPRLF, TELO, ENDLF, PLOT, EROS, etc., even now function in this manner in Tamil Nadu concentrating on propaganda and related activities, including building up a lobby for their activities. The LTTE, on the other hand, while carrying on propaganda has increasingly resorted to clandestine activity like the procurement of illegal arms, ammunition and explosives and smuggling them across the Palk Straits to

Northern Sri Lanka. Several LTTE cadres injured in Sri Lanka are regularly brought clandestinely for treatment in various private clinics and hospitals in Tamil Nadu

2. The LTTE today maintains a small clandestine network of about 30 cadres which is active inside Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and spread over Madras city, Salem, Trichy and Madurai (in Tamil Nadu) and Bangalore city. Their activities cover a wide spectrum from Kidnapping for ransom, fabrication of land mines and RP grenades, procurement and trans-shipment of foodstuffs, explosives and arms and ammunition to the 'struggle' area in Sri Lanka. The LTTE's underground apparatus possesses a fleet of vehicles and speed boats, and they are also able to count on the services of numerous smugglers along the Tanjore, Tiruneveli and Rameswaram coast of Tamil Nadu. The LTTE also runs a clandestine Wireless Station and maintains communication links with both Sri Lanka and London. Considerable dissemination of propaganda as also disinformation takes place by the Madras-based outfit of the LTTE.

3. Law enforcement agencies in Tamil Nadu face several difficulties in dealing with the actions of the LTTE, including its criminal activities. For one, LTTE militants are equipped with sophisticated weapons which are often superior to those possessed by the police. For another, they believe that having the latent sympathy of the population, they can flout laws with impunity. Also, that the legal loopholes give them sufficient latitude in dealing with the enforcement agencies.

Third, they have little inhibition in openly confronting the authorities-the recent

abduction of an Indian Customs patrol on the high seas in the Palk Straits on the night intervening December 7/8, 1989, and their release off the Tanjore coast on December 24 after being in LTTE captivity for more than a fortnight well exemplifies LTTE attitudes.

(4) The other Eelam groups such as the EPRLF, the ENDLF, both factions of the TELO, PLOT, EPDP and the ERS are greatly demoralised at what they see as the dominant role accorded to the LTTE by official agencies in India part from the Sri Lankan Government. The LTTE leadership does return close links with the DK led by K.Veeramani. Further, they appear to have overcome some of their earlier inhibitions regarding the DMK and succeeded to an extent in building a rapport with the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu since it came to power in January 1989. Recent parleys between LTTE representatives and the Tamil Nadu Chief

Minister have virtually marginalised the position of the other Sri Lankan Tamil groups. The latter are deeply worried about the implication for themselves, and the Tamils in North and Eastern Sri Lanka, of some of the demands made by the LTTE delegation during their recent parleys Vi2., (i) total withdrawal of the IPKF at the earliest without insisting on the deadline of December 31; (ii) dismissal of the North-Eastern provincial Government led by EPRLF and dissolution of the

Provincial Assembly followed by fresh elections; (iii) disowning the TNA; and (iv) scrapping the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord and replacing it with a new peace treaty between the two Governments for guaranteeing the safety and security of the Tamils and reasonable autonomy to the Tamil province.

(5) The phased de-induction of the IPKF, coupled with the LTTE's disarming operations' against the EROS, EPRLF, ENDLF and the TELO in the North-Eastern province does lead to the distinct possibility of the non-LTTE Tamil groups seeking safety and sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. This would by both for their own safety as also for subsequently re- grouping and carrying out retaliatory attacks against the LTTE. The progressive withdrawal of the IPKF from the Tamil areas is already leading to a refugee influx into Tamil Nadu through Rameswaram, Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam. During the period September-December 1989, nearly 600 Sri Lankan Tamil families comprising about 1500 persons have reached Tamil Nadu. The bulk of the arrival (408 families and 940 persons) have been in December itself. The LTTE's quest for arms and its past record in mercilessly dealing with rival groups and opponents pursuing a moderate line thus cannot be easily overlooked. "

Shri R. Nagarajan, the then Home secretary of Tamil Nadu, however, has chosen to totally discount the developments of this period. In his affidavit filed before the Commission, he was silent on the numerous instances of criminal activities of Sri Lankan Tamils including smuggling, intimidation of Police and Customs personnel, abduction of customs officials, instances of opening of fire by militants on police and Customs officials and clandestine arrival of injured LTTE cadres to Tamil Nadu for treatment.

414 Shri Nagarajan has also not thrown any light on the apparent reluctance on the part of local authorities to take firm measures against the militants. According to his affidavit no. 85/93-JCI, he has described the situation of the period as follows:

(A)First Period: (from February l989 to December 1989)

"During this period, .Sri Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India and there was no shift in policy towards LTTE. The IPKF was stationed in the North Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. This period could be described as a period without, any major challenges to the Law and Order machinery of the State and the State Govt. was on constant watch towards LTTE."

The year 1989 signified the perpetuation of the general political trend of indulging the Tamil militants on Indian soil and tolerance of their wide ranging criminal activities even at the cost of deterioration of the general law and order situation in the State. The State law enforcement machinery was seen as apathetic and ineffective to deal with the growing aggression of the LTTE in the State.

Reactions of the LTTE after Shri V. P. Singh became the Prime Minister of India

50 The parleys between Shri M. Karunanidhi and the LTTE under instructions from Shri V.P. Singh , it appears, encouraged the LTTE to operate in India freely as they perceived the new political dispensation to be totally sympathetic to them.

The views of the LTTE can be discerned from the articles published in their propaganda organs. These propaganda journals were found to be openly being distributed in Tamil Nadu.

The LTTE, in their propaganda articles, blamed the policies of Shri Rajiv Gandhi and condemned the role of R&AW during the period Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. The LTTE congratulated Shri V.P. Singh on his becoming the Prime Minister. The LTTE, it appears, perceived the prevailing political climate in India both at the Central level as well as in Tamil Nadu to be conducive to them.

The following report of the Intelligence Bureau dated 7th. March, 1990,(Annexure M- ) when Shri V.P. Singh completed more than three months as the Prime Minister of India, speaks about the articles published in an LTTE propaganda journal captioned "Voice of Tigers" dated January, 1990 :-

(DIB U.O.No.IV/TNX/90(16)-1109 dated 07.03.1990)

2 " An article opined that with the emergence of the National Front Government in India under the leadership of V.P.Singh, a significant new and positive development has emerged in the relationship between the LTTE and the New Delhi administration. It stated that LTTE supremo V.Prabhakaran, had sent a congratulatory message to the new Indian Prime Minister and responding positively to LTTE's conciliatory approach, the new Indian Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, the responsibility of talking to the LTTE to seek ways and means to restore peace and normalcy in Tamil Eelam.

It also reported the four rounds of talks held by the LTTE delegates with the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu during mid-December 1989 at Madras. The Bulletin also carried the LTTE appeal to V.P.Singh to release Tamil Political prisoners and LTTE cadres who are still in custody of IPKF and also the observance of Heroes" day by LTTE in Amparai District..... It also published a box column carrying a news item appeared in "The Australian" dated 04.01.1990 regarding TNA and CVF. The editorial stated that "the defunct EPRLF's Provincial Council, disintegration of TNA and the emergence of the LTTE as the most dominant politico-military power in the North and Eastern Provinces signalled the final collapse of the disastrous policy enunciated by the former Rajiv Government. The Editorial condemned RAW for wrongly guiding the Indian Administration."

End of India�s Direct Involvement in Sri Lanka--Refugee Influx and its Impact on the Growth of Sri Lankan Militancy in India

51 The role of India in the implementation of the Indo-Sri Lanka accord gradually tapered off with the deinduction of the IPKF from Sri Lanka. By March end, 1990, the deinduction was completed. By now, due to the IPKF operations and their aftermath, considerable success could be achieved in the implementation of the Indo Sri Lanka Accord. India's policy towards Sri Lanka with regard to this problem striving for the safety and security of the Tamils in Sri Lanka; fostering the process of political solution through dialogue as the only basis for the resolution of the ethnic issue; contributing to peace and normalcy in Sri Lanka; and to restore Indo-Sri Lankan relations to traditional levels of cordiality and friendship.

To a large extent the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement, had achieved these objectives by then. The Accord had led to the enactment of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, which for the first time provided a basis for the devolution of political power to the Tamils through the system of Provincial Councils and related legislation. Withdrawal of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in March 1990 brought to an and India's direct involvement in Sri Lanka and led to a new phase in Indo-Sri Lankan relations.

However, with the deinduction of the IPKF, the problem of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees got further aggravated. The dialogue between the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE soon broke down. After March, 1990, hostilities again broke out in Sri Lanka between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE, which led to a fresh influx of refugees as well as the warring Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups into India. A large number of injured LTTE cadres also began arriving at the Indian coast for treatment. During this period, it appears that the State Government of Tamil Nadu as well as the Central Government headed by Shri V.P. Singh had adopted a policy to allow the injured LTTE cadres to come into India and obtain treatment. Under this pretext, the LTTE, managed to build up an extremely elaborate network in India.

This phenomenon, coupled with the already established nexus between the LTTE and the political leadership of Tamil Nadu, assumed dangerous dimensions in India, which had wide ramifications. During this period, the LTTE spawned several front secessionist organisations such as the TNRT in India and also cultivated links with Indian militant and terrorist groups such as the ULFA of Assam and the PWG of Andhra Pradesh.

Shri R. Nagarajan, the then Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu, has attempted to narrate the developments of this period in his affidavit no. 85/93-JCI. In this affidavit, he describes the situation as follows :-

ii) "The withdrawal of IPKF started sometime at the end of December 1989 which was followed by heavy influx of refugees into Tamilnadu. Alongwith the refugees, the Sri Lankan Tamil Militants also fled into Tamilnadu. It was a major task for the civil and Police authorities to identify the militants among the refugees and segregate them separately in the refugee camps. During the process of withdrawal of IPKF major clashes took place between the IPKF men and the injured persons started fleeing to Tamilnadu through sea route for treatment....... The State Govt. also geared up its machinery to face any eventuality both at the refugees front and also to monitor the militants in the State. A Special Law and Order meeting, the first of its kind was convened by the then Chief Secretary on 29.1.90 to review the situation.

.... Thereafter this special Law and Order meeting had become a regular feature followed by the State Level coordination committee meetings which were held every month with the Law enforcing agencies of the State and concerned officers of the Central Govt. including Customs & Excise. The problems related to Sri Lankan Tamil Militants with a particular reference to LTTE were discussed in such meetings and decisions were arrived at."

However, in his statement given to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Tiruchy, Shri Nagarajan has candidly narrated the problems which arose in law enforcement owing to the policy being followed by the political leadership of DMK in permitting the Sri Lankans free access in Tamil Nadu. He stated :-

(Para 4)

"The problem of law and order assumed greater importance after the deinduction of IPKF from Sri Lanka; alongwith the refugees, LTTE militants got mixed up and landed more in number from June 1990. The policy direction given by then Chief Minister was not to disturb anyone who were coming for treatment from Sri Lanka. The police could not screen them and result being that the LTTE cadets penetrated into our territory freely during this time. The real trouble started only because of this approach. It was submitted orally by the law enforcing authority during the meetings of the then Chief Minister Thiru M. Karunanidhi that allowing the LTTE militants into Tamil Nadu territory ... would force a serious threat in the maintenance of law and order and ultimately would affect the security of the State. The Chief Minister had shown no response."

51.1 Free access of LTTE cadres at the Tamil Nadu coast due to the indulgence of the State authorities is a well established phenomenon. Deposition of Kasi Anandan - a Central Committee member of the LTTE based in Madras - before the Commission confirms this. During his deposition, on this aspect, Kasi Anandan stated :-

(Deposition of Kasi Anandan on 10.09.96.)

"...I again returned to India in June 1990. I came by LTTE boat and landed near Kodiakarai. One or two boys came and they received us at Kodiakarai. At that time the injured persons had come from Sri Lanka and they were given treatment. I started from Vel Vettithurai, the place of birth of Sri V.Prabhakaran. If it is a four-engine boat, it takes only 30 minutes. I came in half an hour. It was a four-engine boat. I landed in the night.

It takes about 5-6 hours to reach Tiruchi from Kodiakarai. A boy came in a car and I went by car to Tiruchi. Boy means LTTE boy..... There was a house at Thillai Nagar in Tiruchi, where the boy was staying. There were about 10 boys in that house. I stayed there for 3-4 days and I came to Madras at my house.... "

Kasi Anandan further goes on to confirm that the political leadership in Tamil Nadu and the bureaucracy were totally sympathetic to the LTTE and responsive to their needs. He confessed that there was free movement of boats between the Jaffna coast and Tamil Nadu coast. He stated :-

"When I was meeting Karunanidhi, I was also meeting R.Nagarajan who was then the Home Secy. I met him twice or thrice. I met Shri R.Nagarajan in connection with medicines /medical helps refugees problems and sufferings and their rehabilitation. LTTE boats were having free access to India for bringing injured persons. Along with injured others were also coming to Indian shores like me..... ... Boats were coming and going undisturbed."

Shri Kasi Anandan has deposed candidly about the prevailing nexus between DMK and LTTE during this period which has been dealt with later in this Chapter. Such was the atmosphere prevailing in Tamil Nadu at that time. It is, therefore, not surprising that during this period, the LTTE managed to entrench inself firmly in the State and its militant activities went unhindered.

Activities of Sri Lankan Militants: January-May 1990
Seizures of Arms & Ammunition

52 Large scale seizure of arms were reported during January - February, 1990. Most of these cases were detected either by local villagers who noticed the contrabands found abandoned and passed on information to the Police.

These seizures indicated that the theatre of action of various Sri Lankan militant groups was gradually shifting from Sri Lanka to India.

The fortnightly report of the State Police 'Q' Branch, CID, for the fortnight ending 31st. January, 1990, lists out the following seizures of arms, ammunitions and communication equipment during the period :-

(i) "On 15.1.90 Hashampatti police of Salem district seized one 9mm pistol, 59 live rounds, 4 cyanide capsules and one empty cyanide bottle found abandoned near the bridge of M.D.S. Nagar. A case in Hasthampatti P.S. Cr.No.8/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. was registered and is under investigation.

(ii) On 18.1.90 Inspector of Police, Tirumangalam Police Station in Chengai Anna East district noticed a Sri Lankan Tamil by name Tharan @ Kumar (20) reported to be residing in Tholkapiyar street, M.G.R. Nagar, Madras-78 moving in a suspicious manner in the VII Avenue Road, near P.I.C. depot, Thirumangalam. When accosted by the Inspector he immediately drew a revolver, aimed at the Inspector and attempted to escape. However, he was over- powered and arrested. A revolver and six live rounds were seized from his possession. A case in Tirumangalam P.S. Cr.No.36/90 u/s 307 IPC r/w Sec.25(1)a Indian Arms Act was registered and he was sent for remand. The case is under investigation.

(iii) On 18.1.90 local people of Pamban, Ramanathapuram district, found one 9mm pistol and 17 live rounds covered in a plastic bag buried under the Pamban bridge. It was handed over to the Pamban Police Station wherein a case in Cr.No.18/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. was registered. The case is under investigation.

(iv) On 20.1.90 on information, Ramanathapuram Police and staff of `Q' Branch, CID, Ramanathapuram unearthed the following arms and ammunition at the sea shore of Dargavalasai, a small coastal village situated on the northern sea shore of Uchipuli Mandapam P.S. limits, in Ramanathapuram district :-

i. 9mm auto pistol 64

ii. AK 47 Rifles 88

iii. Light Machine Guns 40

iv. LMG Extra barrels 39

v. Self Loading Rifles 3

vi. Hand Grenades 13

vii. Rocket/Mortar Launcher 1

viii. Rocket Shells 16

ix. Cartridges of AK 47 Rifles 23520

x. Cartridges of Self 14538

Loading Rifles

xi. Cartridges of 9mm Pistol 51

xii. Magazines for AK 47 Rifles 430

xiii. Magazines for SLR 15

xiv. Magazines for LMG 14

xv. Sockets for Magazines 10

xvi. Plastic badge of ENDLF 1

xvii. Shovels 4

xviii.Spades 3

In this connection a case in Mandapam P.S.Cr.No.39/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. was registered ...... A plastic badge seized from one of the barrel measured 7.5 cm in length and 2.3 cm in width, upper (horizontal) half of the badge is red in colour and the lower half is black. The left upper half bears the letters `ENDLF' and the left lower half "No.1246". In the right hand of the badge contains three stars positioned in the corner of a triangle. All the arms and ammunition are completely greased except 3 SLRs. The case is under investigation.

(v) On 21.1.90 a parcel containing fifty three 9mm pistol rounds were found abandoned in a Maruthu Pandiar Transport Corporation bus TML 2358 which arrived at Trichy from Ramnad. When all the passengers alighted from the bus the conductor of the bus found the parcel. The branch Manager of the Depot handed over the rounds to Trichy Cantonment police and also preferred a complaint which was registered in Cr.No.132/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. The case is under investigation.

(vi) In a joint raid conducted by 'Q' Branch, CID staff and local police of Ramanathapuram district under direct supervision of Superintendents of Police, 'Q'Branch, CID., and Ramnad on 23.1.90 at Antonyarpuram, thangachimadam in Rameswaran the following communication equipments were seized from the house of one Pandian Fernando residing at No.1/63 Antonyarpuram :-

(1) A Kenwood High Frequency transreceiver

(2) Automatic antenna with timer unit

(3) One 12 volt Exide battery

(4) 50 feet lead wire

(5) 50 feet aerial wire

(6) A note book with code words.

A case in Pamban P.S.Cr.No.28/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. was registered and is under investigation.

(vii) On 26.1.90 on reliable information a search was made at Pananthoppu village, 1 1/2 km. north st of Pamban P.S., by the Inspector of Police, Rameswaran and party and the following arms and ammunition were seized :-

(1) 9mm pistol rounds-81

(2) 2 Sten gun bayonet with scabbard

(3) Hand Grenade - 1

A case in Pamban P.S.Cr.No.47/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. was registered and same is under investigation.

(viii) On the information furnished by fishermen a search was made on 26.1.90 in the sea near Dargavalasai seashore from where previous seizure of arms and ammunition was made on 20.1.90, and a black plastic can was seized. On examination it was found to be containing 2603 rounds of AK 47 rifle and two cartridges of 9mm pistol. In this connection a case in Mandapam P.S.Cr.No.51/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. was registered and is under investigation.

The manner in which these seizures were made and the total lack of follow up action by the State authorities is indicative of the cavalier attitude of the State machinery. Such unusual, large scale seizures called for intensive investigations and preventive measures to be undertaken; however, it is seen that barring one accused in one case, in none of the abovementioned cases, any arrests were made. There does not appear any evidence of any follow up action either.

The following reports of the Intelligence Bureau (Annexures M-33 & M-34) on some of the above major seizures are also silent on the follow up action taken in these cases :-

IB U.O. NO. I(14)/90 (ii)- 284)

"Some of the groups like the ENDLF have transferred their weapons to Tamil Nadu for future use against their adversaries. On January 20, one such arms cache with 88 AK 47 assault rifles, 64 9mm pistols, 40 LMGs and large quantities of ammunition and other spares was unearthed in the coastal area of Ramanathapuram district under P.S.Uchipuli. Again on January 25 night, the Rameswaram police (Pamban P.S.) had effected some more recovery of ammunition. Earlier on January 23, the Tamilnadu CID recoverd a highly sophisticated powerful Japan-made trans- receiver set with automatic tuner antenna from a private house hired by ENDLF cadres in Tangachimadam (Ramnad)."

(DIB U.O. NO. 62/FOR(F2)/90(3)-171, dt. 31.1.90)

"On an information from villagers of Darga Valasai Village (District Ramnad, Tamilnadu) that some Sri Lankans (about 20-30) had come in three boats, buried some barrels and plastic cans near the village sea shore (P.S. Uchipuli-District Ramanathapuram) around 0300 hours on January 20 and gone away, the Police and Custom authorities jointly searched the area and unearthed the following articles:

(i) 11 Plastic Barrels containing 88 AK-47 assault Rifles, 64-9MM Pistols and 40 LMGs 14 Plastic Cans full of ammunition

ii) 1 Rocket Launcher with 8 Shells, Spade and Shovels - 3 each

Recovered items were sent to Armed Reserve Armoury in Madurai on January 22. On January 25 night, the Rameswaram police (P.S.Pamban) recovered over two thousand ammunition of AK- 47 from Darga Valasai sea shore. Earlier, on January 23, the Tamilnadu CID recovered a highly sophisticated powerful Japan made trans- receiver set with automatic tuner antenna from a private house, hired by ENDLF cadres, in Tangachimadam (District Ramnad)."

In the above report, the Intelligence Bureau has also analysed the prevailing trend which was responsible for such large scale presence of arms and ammunition in India. The I.B. report attributed this phenomenon to the following reason :-

"It is suspected that the non- LTTE Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups, fleeing Sri Lanka to escape the LTTE's 'offensive' and 'disarming operations' against them, following the phased deinduction of the IPKF, might be shifting their arms / ammunitions to safer places in Tamil Nadu for their own safety and for carrying out retaliatory attacks against the LTTE in future."

Other cases of arms seizures reported by the State Police during the period are as follows (Annexure M-35 & M-36):-

(Letter No.C.11(A)No. 178/C dt. 2.3.90 from Dy.Inspr.-Genl.of Police, C.I.D.)

"On 28.2.90 night Inspector of Police, Law and Order, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur East district, on rounds at Pattinachery Kuppam in Nagore P.S. limits, found a polythene bag containing the following arms and ammunition half buried in sands at Vadakarai of Vettar river:

1. AK 47 rifle - 2

2. AK 47 rifle magazine - 6

3. AK 47 rounds - 217

4. Hand Grenades - 4

2. The arms and ammunition were seized and a case in Nagore P.S. Cr.No.22/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. was registered and is under investigation."

(Letter No. C.11(A)No.139/C dt. 2-3-1990 from Dy.Inspr.-Genl.of Police,C.I.D.)

"On 25.2.90 one Karthik (14) and Kamaraj (13) both students of Thayumanavar Vidyalaya, Vedaranyam, Thanjavur East district handed over to Vedaranyam police station a card-board box containing 34 9mm ammunition with markings as 9 MM/23-KF/81. They stated that they found these ammunition at the backside of Vedaranyam Taluk Office.

2. In this connection a case in Vedaranyam P.S. Cr.No.125/90 u/s 102 Cr.P.C. r/w 25(1) Arms Act was registered and is under investigation."

52.1 While the non LTTE Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups were engaged in the above activities, the LTTE in Tamil Nadu was proceeding with a more organised and lethal network. As per the report of the Intelligence Bureau (DIB UO No. 62/ FOR(F2)/ 90(3) - 171, dt. Jan. 31, '90)(Annexure M -34), the activities of the LTTE, during this period were as follows :-

"...The LTTE maintains a small clandestine network of its cadres in Tamil Nadu, who indulge in wide spectrum of activities including kidnapping for ransom, robbery, fabrication of landmines and RP grenades, procurement and trans-shipments of foodstuffs, explosives and arms and ammunition to Sri Lanka etc. They conduct their activities with impunity and have little inhibition in openly confronting the enforcement agencies with more sophisticated and superior weaponry."

Activities of various Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups have been summed up by the Intelligence Bureau in a communication (Annexure M-37) excerpted below :-

(DO No. 16-D/SZX/90 dt. June 4, 1990)

"From the beginning of 1990, the Vedaranyam coastal area of Tamil Nadu in the District of Thanjavur, witnessed both overt and covert activities of Sri Lankan Tamil militants belonging to various groups. In January/ February militant groups belonging to EPRLF, ENDLF and TELO fearing reprisals from LTTE after the withdrawal of IPKF left Sri Lanka in boats and clandestinely landed in this coast as refugees. It is reported that these groups brought fire-arms for defence. One of the groups (TELO) which came on February 27, is reported to have sold not less than 10 fire- arms including some AK-47 rifles, along with a huge quantity of electronic goods to some smugglers and undesirables. The smuggling in fire-arms by Sri Lankan groups was further confirmed when the Tamil Nadu Police on February 28, 1990 unearthed and seized a cache of arms ( 2 AK-47 rifles, 6 empty magazines, 4 hand grenades and some rounds of magazines, 4 hand grenades and some rounds of ammunition) in Nagore sea-shore in Thanjavur District. "


52.2 During the period, there were specific reports about manufacturing and smuggling of arms including RP grenades by the LTTE from Tamil Nadu. In a communication dated 31st. January, 1990, the office of the GOC, ATNKK & G area, intimated the Government of Tamil Nadu that the LTTE high command had asked the LTTE office at Madras to arrange to send 2000 'Arul' Rifle grenades being manufactured at Coimbatore. It was also informed that the consignment was to be smuggled from the Vedaranyam coast. (ANN. C-b, Affidavit no. 214/94- JCI)

However, the State authorities claimed after verification that no such manufacturing or smuggling activity had come to notice.

Shri R. Nagarajan, the then Home Secretary, Tamil Nadu, in his affidavit no. 85/93-JCI, has narrated this incident as follows :-

iii) "There was a telex message to the State Govt from MHA Government of India, New Delhi dated 6.2.1990 wherein it is stated that the LTTE leadership had asked its office at Madras to urgently collect 2000 Arul 89 rifles manufactured at Coimbatore and despatch them to Sri Lanka through Vedaranyam. Furnishing this information to the State Government MHA- Govt. of India asked the State govt. to take action and report. This information as referred to `Q' Branch at once for immediate action and the `Q' Branch had replied to the Chief Secretary to Govt., Public (SC) Department stating that the lathe and foundry owned by suspected sympathiser of LTTE were checked by `Q' Branch, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Coimbatore and nothing illegal was found... Govt. of India was informed accordingly."

This stand, however, loses credibility in light of information available on the records of the Intelligence Bureau, whose official had, at a later stage, interrogated some of the LTTE cadres involved in manufacture and smuggling of the arms from Tamil Nadu. The interrogation of a key LTTE operative Udayan disclosed that Udayan, an LTTE expert in fabrication of arms spares required for Arul-89 and Pasilan 22000 Grenades had based his factory at Mettur, near Coimbatore.

He was also engaged in procuring /manufacturing spare parts for fabrication/ manufacture of Johny Mines, claymore mines and 30/40 inch mortars. Spares purchased by 'Udayan' for the above requirements alone cost an estimated Rs.15 lakhs. Weaponry spares weighing about 500 Kgs had been transported to Jaffna coast between June-December, 1990 from Tamil Nadu. Medical supplies were procured both privately by the LTTE as also through the State Government. An estimated Rs.1.5 lakhs worth of medicine had been diverted from the Directorate of Medical Services of the State Government to the LTTE for despatch to the Jaffna coast. Besides this, the LTTE activists themselves effected purchases worth Rs.50 lakhs medicines for despatch to Jaffna coast for LTTE use there.

Disclosures made by LTTE operative Udayan bring out that manufacturing activities of arms, ammunition etc. were going on uninterrupted in Tamil Nadu all through 1990 and the consignments were being regularly smuggled to Jaffna. A further confirmation of this fact comes from the large scale seizure of finished and semi finished hand grenades from factories in Coimbatore district by the State Police during their crackdown against the LTTE in 1991 after the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Regarding this seizure, Shri S. Sripall, former DGP, Tamil Nadu, deposed before the Commission on 7th. December, 1995. He stated :-

"In addition to these cases the TANSIT took up investigation in Thudiayalur Police Station Crime No.256/91. This related to the arrest of Vicky and Raghu. It led to the seizure of 7000 Empty Hand Grenades and unearthing of a Grenade Manufacturing factory at Coimbatore."

The overwhelming evidence regarding continuing activities of the LTTE and their Indian supporters of manufacturing weapon parts, grenades etc. at Coimbatore and its vicinity and the smuggling of these consignments to Jaffna throughout the period 1989 - 1991 gives rise to a legitimate doubt whether sincere efforts were taken by the State Police authorities on the information provided to them by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Indian Army during January, 1990.



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