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 21 to 24

21. Visit of P Nedumaran to Sri Lanka | 22. Shooting of policemen and civilians by LTTE - Pattinamkkathan shootout | 23. Activities of Sri Lankan Tamil militants in Tamil Nadu during March - May 1990 | 24. Interaction between the Central Government and the Government Tamil Nadu regarding the militant activities of Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu

Visit of P. Nedumaran to Sri Lanka

52.3 During this period, the local Tamil chauvinist groups continued to actively espouse the cause of the LTTE. These groups continued to extend both moral and infrastructural support to the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. One of the most vociferous Indian Tamil supporters of the LTTE was Shri P. Nedumaran, who, during this period, also paid a visit to Sri Lanka. This has been narrated in the affidavit of Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan, former Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau :-

(Affidavit No. 57/92-JCI, (para 4-vi))

"P. Nedumaran, President of the Tamil Nadu Kamaraj Congress, now named as Tamil National Movement, visited Jaffna and met prominent LTTE members including V. Prabhakaran between February 19 and March 16, 1990....."

P. Nedumaran continued to openly support the LTTE all through and came to adverse notice in several instances during this period. There were reports that some of the suspects involved in shooting of a policeman at Pattinamkathan in Ramanathapuram District had links with P. Nedumaran and were in touch with him both before and after the shootout.

Shooting of Policemen and Civilians by LTTE: Pattinamkkathan Shootout

53 Although there had been frequently occurring several blatant instances of intimidation and even abduction of the State and Central Law enforcing machinery as well as the public in general by the LTTE in Tamil Nadu, the most serious incident occurred on 18th February, 1990, at Ramanathapuram District, in which the LTTE militants indiscriminately opened fire at three different places with AK 47 rifles killing one policeman and one civilian and injuring 19 including 11 policemen and one Inspector of Police.

After the incident, the local police registered three cases. However, no one was arrested and the cases simply languished.

The incident has been brought out in details in a contemporaneous report of the 'Q' Branch :-

(`Q' branch CID vide letter dated 20.02.90 to Chief Secretary to Tamil Nadu)

" on 18.02.90 at 2225 hrs at Pattinamkathan check post, Ramanathapuram district Head Constable Jainulabudeen and party were checking the vehicles to prevent smuggling of arms and ammunition. A numberless white Maruti Gypsy and white Ambassador car with registration number TAA 9439 slowed down near the check post and the inmates of the vehicles posing as Sri lankan Tamil militants objected to the checking of their vehicles, when the HC insisted, they brandished an automatic sten gun and pistol and threatened with dire consequences after disclosing that they were carrying medicines and left the place at gun point. At 2245 Hrs another white Maruti gypsy with registration number TSE 2954 slowed down at the same check post and left under similar circumstances.

On receipt of information the entire Ramanathapuram district strength was mobilised and all the checkposts were reinforced. Additional check posts were created at Mandapam camp, Pamban and Rameswaram, considering the security of the refugees in the camp. The Superintendent of Police Ramanathapuram with Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ramanathapuram and party immediately proceeded towards Mandapam. On sighting the three vehicles at 0030 hours at Pirappanvalasai coming towards Ramnad they turned about and chased the vehicles. Inspector Rameswaram and Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) party headed by TSP Inspector Kuruppiah joined the Superintendent of police at Pirappanvalasai. On seeing the heavy road block and reinforcements at Ramnad check post all the occupants of the three vehicles, numbering about 15 opened fire with their automatic weapons indiscriminately on the police party near the check post at Ramnad at 0045 hours.

TSP Inspector retaliated by opening fire (6rounds) with his service revolver. All the militants showered about 150 bullets on the police vehicles and the police under the cover of heavy fire power for a distance of about 50 metres. The firing lasted for about 3 minutes and Police Constable 1171 Subramanian of TSP VI Br. `F' Company who attempted to get down from the vehicle and open fire on the militants received bullets on his chest and head and died on the spot."

In this encounter, as many as 12 Police personnel including an Inspector of Police and 5 civilians were injured in the firing by the LTTE.

The militants continued to move towards the coast and two more attempts were made by the police parties to intercept them. On both these occasions, the LTTE militants again opened fire killing one more civilian and injuring two.

The above report of the 'Q' Branch, CID, narrates the details in the above report as follows :-

"All the other check posts were alerted immediately. When HC 478 of Subramaniyam of Kenikarai PS and his party along with civilians tried to make road blocks at Kenikarai the fleeing militants opened fire indiscriminately firing about 100 rounds for a distance of about 50 metres at 0055 hours, killing one civilian Karuppiah, age 55/90, S/o Narayanan Pillai, Dhrowpathi Amman Koil Street, Ramnad and injuring 2 civilians.

The fleeing militants then opened fire (about 10 rounds) at Kopprimadam check post when Sub Inspector of Police Devipattinam and his strong party attempted to stop the vehicles at 0150 Hrs. and nobody was injured. The Police party fired one round with 410 musket on the fleeing vehicles. The militants were last located passing Thondi at 0155 Hrs. Neighbouring districts were alerted immediately. In this connection the following three cases were registered:-

1. Kenikarai P.S. Cr. No. 107/90 u/s 147, 148, 307, 302 IPC r/w 25(1) Arms Act.

2.Kenikarai P.S. Cr. No. 108/90 u/s 147,148,307, 302 IPC r/w 25(1) Arms Act.

3.Devipattinam P.S. Cr. No. 42/90 u/s 147, 148, 307 IPC r/w 25(1) Arms Act."

The progress of the investigation done by the Police in the case is reflected in the communication of the 'Q' Branch CID to the State Government on 12.06.90 that on interrogation of the owner of the car TAA 9439, it was disclosed that the car was lent on monthly rent to one Shri.George S/o Samraj of Madurai who was also the Manager of Pandian Hotel, Madurai. The report mentioned that George was absconding; he was reportedly having links with Sri Lankan Tamil Militant groups who frequented the hotel. The report further adds that the said George is said to have indulged in criminal activities along with these militants in their nefarious activities such as transporting contrabands. They suspected the involvement of the said George in the incident on 18.02.90 at Pattinam -kathan shoot out.

The periodical messages of the SIB, Madras, of this period also give an indication of the clues available in this case. The following messages of SIB sent to IB HQs give a glimpse of the progress of investigations made :-

(IB FILE NO. 62/FOR (F2) / 90 (3) of F2 Branch, Pages 34 -35)

SIB, Madras, W/T Message dt. 26th Feb '90

"..... A special police team investigating this case located a white Ambassador car used by the militants at Madurai on February 25 evening (.) The team also suspects the involvement of two LTTE militants namely, Albert s/o Xavier of Mannar, Sri Lanka and Shubburaj Ramon Newton staying in house at K.K. Nagar, Madurai (.) These militants however could not be located so far (.) SIB, Madras, W/T Message dt. 26th Feb '90

"............... The special police team investigating this case has arrested one Vijayarathinam, a Sri Lankan Tamil ....(.) So far the Police have rounded up 26 persons out of which two are Sri Lankan Nationals for interrogation..... (.) The police are also on the lookout for (1) George, a receptionist in Pandiyan Hotel, Madurai,...... (2) One Augustine .. in charge of Madurai unit of LTTE ...... (.) ... his whereabouts are not known(.) It is learnt that he met the PA of P. Nedumaran president of TNM at Tirunagar on Feb 18 (3) A Sri Lankan national by name Vimalanathan, employed in Vivekananda Press owned by P. Nedumaran, who was missing after the incident(.)

53.1 The fact that no accused were brought to book in this shocking incident is strange. The lackadaisical attitude of the State Administration and the State police machinery in pursuing the investigation of this case definitely gives rise to doubts regarding the sincerity of the concerned authorities to detect the case.

During further investigations in the events conducted in August, 1991, by the Tamil Nadu Special

Investigation Team (TANSIT), it was disclosed that Shri R. Nagarajan himself was responsible for interfering in the investigation of the case. According to a statement given by Shri G.S. Ramanan, the then D.I.G. of police, on August 14, 1991, to the investigating officer (Ex. TN 24), it has been stated that during the course of his supervision of the Pattinamkatthan shootout case, Shri Ramanan had planned to raid a house at Trichy; however, he was restrained from doing so by Shri R. Nagarajan, who, in a telephone conversation, "found fault ... for being over enthusiastic and evincing undue interest and also restrained the police from evincing too much interest in the matter. A raid of the house where it was suspected that the accused .. might be residing could not be conducted."

Narrating this incident, in his statement recorded by the Chief Judicial magistrate, Trichy u/s 164 (5) Cr.P.C. (Annexure M-38 )( Ex.TN 27 ) Shri R. Nagarajan has alleged political interference. He stated :-

Para 9-

"Once Thiru G.S.Ramanan, D.I.G., Ramnad was named by then D.G.P. to apprehend few L.T.T.E. men who were suspected to be involved in Pattinam Kathan shoot out residing at Trichy and accordingly Thiru Ramanan also came to Trichy for the operation Party. He could not carry out the operations, since the then D.G.P. informed over phone that the scheduled operation date was changed under the oral orders of the then Chief Minister. When I checked up this with G.S. Ramanan, as well with D.G.P. both confirmed it. D.I.G. C.I.D. also confirmed it. When I asked the then Chief Minister about this, he too confirmed the postponement of the operation. After few days, the operation was carried out, nothing was available at the spot except a Motor Cycle and few clothes, which was reported in the weekly Law and Order meeting."

Further allegations of political interference have been raised by Shri R. Nagarajan, the then Home Secretary, Tamil Nadu, in this investigation, which attempts to explain the possible reasons for such brazen inaction by the local police. Shri R. Nagarajan, in his 164(5) Cr.P.C. statement given before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Trichy, has further alleged that :-


"On 18-2-90, few L.T.T.E. militants travelling in cars returned from Rameswaram sea shore after offloading certain goods said to be medicines and ammunitions and their vehicles were checked at the Pattinam Kathan checkpost by the T.S.P. men on duty. The L.T.T.E. militants opened fire indiscriminately killing one T.S.P. man on duty and another civilian at another spot. There more than ten persons sustained injuries due to indiscriminate fire by the L.T.T.E. militants. We at the Secretariat, during the Law and Order meeting asked then D.G.P. to trace out the vehicle and arrest the culprits.

Sometime after when this was questioned during the weekly law and order meeting, 'Q' Branch S.P. Thiru Subramaniam, reported one of the persons inside the Maruthi van was an employee of Pandian Hotel, who was also missing. Later, 'Q' Branch S.I. told in my room that the action could not be taken effectively because local police are reluctant to co- operate with the 'Q' Branch since the missing Pandian Hotel employee who was cited in the Maruthi van at the shoot out spot was a close friend of M. Alagiri, S/O then Chief Minister and that was the reason no improvement in the investigation.

Once this fact was conveyed to then Chief Minister by then D.G.P. during my presence and the then Chief Minister did not show any reaction but after few minutes he started denying D.G.P.'s version. But the contention of the 'Q' branch was orally that there was no progress on Pattanamkathan shoot out investigation, because of the interference by the said Alagiri."

Shri R. Nagarajan, the then Home Secretary, Tamil Nadu, in his deposition before the Commission, on 16th September, 1996, while confirming that his abovementioned Sec. 164 (5) CrPC statement was based on facts, attempted to dilute the issue. He stated :-

Deposition of Shri R.Nagarajan

"There were incidents of shooting at Pattinamkathan. Investigation was done but the Police was not able to catch one local fellow who was an employee of a hotel in Madurai and the police gave the version that he is a close friend of former Chief Minister's son Mr. Alagiri. This was also brought to the notice of the Chief Minister and subsequently the police were made alert under the DIG, Ramanathapuram. That employee reportedly died. The version of the link with Alagiri was not found to be true. Others were not arrested and they went to Sri Lanka."

Shri Jaffar Ali, the then D.I.G. (CID), Tamil Nadu, during his deposition before the Commission on 10-3-1997 (page No.10) also attempted to deny this allegation. He stated :-

"It is wrong to say that investigation in Pattinamkattam shoot out was scuttled at the instance of Mr.Alagari, son of Mr. Karunanidhi."

Even if we discount the contention put forward by Shri R. Nagarajan, what remains inexplicable is the inaction of the local police in making any worthwhile breakthrough in the case, the total apathy on the part of the State bureaucracy to follow up the matter, and the total lack of response on the part of the State political leadership after the occurrence of such a ghastly incident.

It appears that the political leadership underplayed this incident and the bureaucracy and the State Police machinery failed to put in the minimum required efforts to bring the culprits to book. Such apathy on the part of the bureaucracy and the State law enforcement machinery could only have been possible unless the political leadership of the State was not inclined for taking action in the matter.

An indication of this attitude is seen in a field report of the Intelligence Bureau dated 10th. May, 1990 (Annexure M-39), which is based on the findings of a journalist from 'Times of India' during his visit to the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu :-

".......After the 18.2.90 shoot out at Ramnad involving the Sri Lankan Tamil militant, the SP, Ramnad had preferred to stay in his office under heavy armed protection and did not venture out for a week. The Tamil Nadu Home Secretary reportedly chided the SP Ramnad for violating the Government instruction when the former had communicated the two shoot outs at Ramnad. The local police officers had off the record confided to the press that they have been told by the Government to adopt a 'soft' line towards LTTE. The press and people questioned when an SP himself was insecure where is the question of security for people especially when the DMK Government is playing double game on LTTE affair."

These reports cannot be dismissed outright since they appear to be in consonance with the prevailing climate of the period. The report also gives an insight that the activities of the LTTE were actually not being supported by the general public, who were themselves, apparently concerned about the growing criminal activities of the Tamil militants.

53.2 After the Pattinamkathan shootout, it appears that the State Government asked the Central Government to equip the local police with sophisticated weapons such as AK-47 rifles. In his deposition, Shri M. Karunanidhi has made a mention of this while enumerating the steps taken by him with regard to the violent activities of LTTE militants in Tamil Nadu.

Shri M.M. Rajendran, the then Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu, has submitted in his affidavit no. 126/93-JCI that :-

(Para 15)

"As it was a fact that the Sri Lankan militants, particularly the LTTE, were armed with sophisticated weapons and the local Police were diffident in challenging them, it was considered necessary to obtain central assistance in training Tamil Nadu Police in the use of sophisticated weaponry. Accordingly I had discussed the matter on 7.5.1990 with the Union Home Secretary to provide assistance for such training and supply of AK 47 rifles and this was agreed to by him. Training was accordingly organised for the Tamil Nadu Special Police in the use of AK 47 rifles."

Activities of Sri Lankan Tamil Militants in Tamil Nadu during March-May 1990

54 By the end of March, 1990, the last phase of deinduction of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) from Sri Lanka was completed. The return of the IPKF from Sri Lanka left the field wide open to the LTTE in Sri Lanka which launched into a large scale operation of annihilating their rival groups, particularly the EPRLF.

A coded message of LTTE was intercepted by S.I.B. Madras. This message was got decoded by the Commission from the R&AW. The decoded mesage has revealed that celebrations were held by all 'Tamil Eelam' people, the victory attained by the LTTE and the Tamil speaking people in sending the Indian Army out of Sri Lanka. A general statement in connection with this is prepared and it said 'arrange for a procession'. There are other intercepts got decoded by the Commission from R&AW on boat movements during 1990.

In India, the deinduction of the IPKF led to a fresh influx of refugees. Tamil Nadu was the most affected State where this problem assumed a serious dimension. Since the Jaffna coast had now come under total control of the LTTE, their smuggling activities from India increased considerably.

Politically, in Tamil Nadu, LTTE got further encouraged by the decision taken by the Chief Minister Shri M. Karunanidhi to boycott the function arranged for welcoming the IPKF. He condemned the IPKF unequivocally in the Tamil Nadu Assembly thereby strengthening the impression that the sympathies of his party lay with the LTTE.

54.1 During the period March - May, 1990, as per the records of the Central and State Government, the following activities of the Sri Lankan Tamil militants came to light (Annexure M-40, M-41 & M- 42):-

(i) ('Q' Branch (CID) letter C.11 (A) No. 359/C dt. 12th. April, 1990, Affidavit 214/94: Ann J, Vol II)

"... on 9.4.90 a fibre speed boat with 9 persons came to the shore of Rameswaram, one among them was in battle uniform with a machine gun on his shoulder. One of the persons .....went to a petrol bunk ... and purchased 150 litres of petrol....... went back to the boat and sped away in the sea. They are suspected to be LTTE militants......"

(ii) ('Q' Branch (CID) letter C.11 (A) No. 409/M dt. 27th. April, 1990, Affidavit 214/94: Ann J, Vol II)

"..... A raid was conducted in the small hours of ..27.4.90 by Madras City Police...... 60 persons including 'Puratchi Mani' of EPDP were arrested. The house on search was found to have six magazines and 33 rounds of AK-47, a sword and a .22 air rifle. On further information, a house at Vanniar Street, Choolaimedu, was searched where 7 male and 5 female were arrested who were in possession of Explosive substances and four sets of walkie talkies...."

(iii) (Letter No.C.11(A)No.453/C dt. 16.5.90 from 'Q' CID addressed to the Chief Secretary to Government, Public (S.C) Department)

"It is reported that one ash colour Maruti Gypsy Jeep bearing registration number TN 04- 4341 carrying five persons suspected to be Sri Lankan Tamil militants capsized near Enathikarambai village in Peravoorani B.S. limit on the Peravoorani-Avanan-Aranthangi Road on 15.5.90 about 0600Hrs. In that accident one inmate of the jeep sustained injury on his forehead. Other four persons took position with automatic weapons and did not allow the public to approach the vehicle. One of them contacted someone over V.H.F. set and after about half an hour, an open type van without any registration number came and they loaded the Maruti Gypsy Jeep in the van and drove away along the Aranthangi Road.

2. In this connection, a case in Peravoorani P.S. Cr.No.133/90 u/s 279, 337 was registered on the same day on a complaint from one Kannan, S/o.Velu, Enathikarambai. The case is under investigation."

Central Intelligence reports of the period (Annexure M-43) disclosed that two LTTE boats from Sri Lanka had landed near Pillayar Thidal, 3 kms from Mallipattinam the previous evening. At midnight, LTTE cadres in a Gypsy and a truck reached near the landing place with 20 heavy bundles, presumably containing explosives/arms and ammunitions and loaded them on the two speed boats. Thereafter both the vehicles drove towards Peravoorani in the early hours of May 15, when the Gypsy capsized.

Other incidents involving LTTE cadres which shed light on the developments pertaining to growth of Sri Lankan militant activities in Tamil Nadu during the period, were (Annexures M-44, M-45 & M-46):-

(i) An LTTE cadre was reported to have reached Madras from Jaffna on May 17 with two heavy parcels meant for Walter, the LTTE operative. It was suspected that this cadre was in the Maruti Gypsy that had capsized at Enathikarambai near Peravurani on May 15 and the parcels were among the consignments brought by the LTTE cadres from the coast.

(ii) The LTTE unit in Tamil Nadu was learnt to have received instructions from Jaffna that all LTTE cadres stationed in Trichy except those associated with the procurement and supply of explosives should be sent back to Jaffna............ . These measures appear to have been taken in the wake of two road accidents involving the LTTE on May 15 and 16 in Thanjavur district which have resulted in Police search for LTTE hide-outs in Trichy.

However, LTTE boat movements smuggling explosives and clothings were reported to be continuing from Mallipatnam coast. Samduram, an important LTTE cadre in Trichy was involved in these transhipments.

(iii) It was reported that on the night of May 24, about twenty five LTTE cadres armed with AK-47 rifles and equipped with walkie- talkie sets landed at Arcottuthurai near Vedaranyam coast (Thanjavur Distt) by two plastic boats.

A police party, on receipt of information, reached the coast around 1000 hours on May 25 and warned the militants to vacate the area. However, one of the LTTE cadres fired in the air to exhibit their superior fire power. The LTTE party stayed on till the night of May 25 and left Arcottuthurrai in their boats that night.

The incident caused panic among the inhabitants of the village.

Available evidence points out that during the first half of 1990 the LTTE continued to spread its tentacles in the state of Tamil Nadu. Several organised criminal activities of the LTTE cadres in particular and Sri Lankan Tamil militants in general were reported by the intelligence agencies during this period. The growing nexus between the Tamil militant groups and the political party in power in the State and its repercussions on the local law enforcement machinery were also discernable during the period.

54.2 During his deposition before the Commission, Admiral L. Ramdas, who was then posted as the Chief of Southern Command of the Indian Navy, also narrated the impression prevailing at that time which unmistakably indicated a nexus between the State Government and the LTTE. In his deposition, Admiral Ramdas stated :-

Deposition of Admiral Ramdas dt. 3.1.97

"The overall feeling of all our officers including the officer in charge was that the local State Govt was sympathetic towards the LTTE and that was also my impression which I gathered during my tenure as F.O.C. in C and as Chief. Navy apprehended about 90 odd Sri Lankan nationals and handed over to the local police and after two or three days they were released. The Naval Officer in charge conveyed that they have been released without any proper investigation or interrogation. when I went to Madras for my farewell before coming to Delhi as Chief, this feeling was conveyed to me by the general attitude shown to the arrested 70 odd Sri Lankan * by the State Govt. I had sent reports to Naval Hqrs as F-O-C and who, in turn, I believe prepared a brief for the Prime Minister It was sometimes in March 1990......"

What was the scenario in Tamil Nadu with regard to militant activities of various Sri Lankan Tamil groups who had been operating from the State, particularly the LTTE ?

Available evidence in the form of actual events which occurred during the period, unequivocally indicates that LTTE had, in fact, entrenched itself in the State firmly and was carrying out a large spectra of illegal activities (Annexure M -47 )

LTTE's clandestine activities in the State included fabricating grenades and spare parts for weapons in the Coimbatore area. The LTTE was also purchasing explosives at Thiruchengode and Karur. Arms and ammunitions were also being transhipped from Tamil Nadu. An extensive network of the LTTE was catering to providing medical treatment to injured LTTE cadres in several places in Tamil Nadu. Large amount of gold and large quantities of electronic items, were smuggled in through the Ramanathapuram- Thanjavur coastline which is nearest from Talaimannar/Jaffna.

Patrolling of the coast by Tamilnadu police through their check-posts and observation posts had become ineffective, especially after Pattinakkathan shoot-out incident. The Customs authorities had already been neutralized after the abduction of Custom officials from Muthupet. After February, the LTTE was using Thanjavur coastline in general and the area around Mallipatnam in particular. Three instances of kidnapping of Indian fishermen by the LTTE were reported in March/April 1990 for allegedly straying into Sri Lankan waters and destroying the fishing nets.

The favourable landing spots of the LTTE were found to Pillayar Thidal, near Vedaranyam and Mallipattinam. The LTTE took the assistance of some trusted local smugglers and their workers to tranship large consignments of arms, explosives, medicines and other essential items. LTTE network in Tamil Nadu was being controlled by selected 30 - 40 cadres based in Madras, Tiruchi, Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai, Erode and Nagapattinam.

They had acquired a fleet of Maruti cars/vans and motor cycles which operated with false number plates. Financing was being done through organised 'Hawala' transactions and through sale of gold/electronic goods smuggled into India by LTTE. The LTTE was an elaborate wireless network, the nerve centres of which were Madras and Tiruchi. This facilitated them in coordinating their illegal boat movements across the Palk Straits for transporting arms and ammunition. LTTE was maintaining its office in Raja Annamalaipuram, Madras.

After the talks held between the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and LTTE as well as other rival groups, an impression gained weight that the DMK leadership was supportive of LTTE at the cost of other Sri Lankan Tamil groups. Unabated activities of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu further strengthened this impression. The reaction of Shri Karunanidhi to the arrival of EPRLF and ENDLF cadres in Tamil Nadu led to a definite perception that the DMK, while being sumpathetic to the LTTE, was not favourable to the rival Sri Lankan Tamil groups.

A series of incidents and continued police inaction further buttresses these perceptions. Incidents involving LTTE cadres on 15th May, 1990 near Enathi Korambai village, in which villagers were threatened, an accident on 16th May in which LTTE cadres injured two cyclists, landing of armed LTTE cadres at Vedaranyam who threatened the police on 24th May, 1990, were some such incidents.

Police inaction is singularly evident in all these cases. There did not appear to be any sincerity in pursuing investigations and arresting the culprits.

It cannot be denied that the unusual ineffectiveness of the police was due to their awareness that the LTTE rank and file operating in Tamil Nadu had political patronage of the ruling party. Subsequent events which have been dealt with later in this chapter give definite indications of this trend. Under the circumstances, it appears, the State Police avoided any confrontation with the LTTE and allowed them to carry out their activities unhindered.

The apparent acquiescence of the Police and demoralization of the Customs authorities made the LTTE even more reckless and, in the minds of the local population, sent out signals that the LTTE operatives could not be controlled even when they affected local peace and harassed the Indian citizens.

Interaction Between the Central Government and the Government of Tamil Nadu Regarding the Militant Activities of Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu

54.3 The prevailing situation in Tamil Nadu was a cause for concern for the Central Government. Evidence indicates that the Central Government had been regularly interacting with the State Government during the period regarding various clandestine criminal activities of Sri Lankan Tamil militants, particularly the LTTE; however, at this juncture, a new trend is seen to be emerging as far as the attitude of the State Administration was concerned. The strategy of the State Government appears to be to flatly deny existence of any such activities. Evidence available with the Customs Department field officers as well as in the records of the State Government itself, however, indicates that these denials were not based on facts.

An instance of this approach is seen from the following correspondence :-

The Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India sent a detailed letter on 9th. February, 1990, to the Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu, (Annexure M-48) referring to earlier communications of the Union Home Ministry with the State Government regarding the smuggling activities of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. The letter, inter alia, stated :-

(Annexure No. C(a) to affidavit No.214/94-JCI)

2. We had received reports that LTTE continues to use Tamil Nadu as the main conduit for smuggling arms/ammunition into their hide-outs in North-East Sri Lanka...... We also have reports that taking advantage of the local population's sympathy for them and lack of coordinated action by State Police and Custom authorities, the LTTE has, of late stepped up its activities in Tamil Nadu. For instance, the transit camp at Chinnamanai (Thanjavur district) which was dismantled in October, 1987 has reportedly been re- established and a tri-weekly illicit boat traffic between Velvettithurai (Jaffna district of Sri Lanka) and Mallipatnam (Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu) involving transport of medicine, foodstuffs and arms and ammunition is said to be going on."

The stand taken by the State Government on the above informations passed by the Union Home Ministry to the Tamil Nadu Government can be seen from the reply excerpted below (Annexure M-49) :-

(Letter No. SR.II/143-5/90 dt. 29.3.1990 from Shri M.M. Rajendran, Chief Secretary TN Govt to Home Secretary, MHA, New Delhi)

"........ a discreet enquiry was conducted but there is no information about LTTE's gun running from the coastal area of Thanjavur to Sri Lanka. Mallipattinam is a small coastal village between Athiramapattinam and Kattumavadi in Sethubavachatram police station limit, situated 70 kms towards South from Thanjavur and 25 Kms towards South East from Pattukottai..... It is a fact that Mallipattinam is a vantage point from smuggling point of view and for a long time, it has been used as a transit point. But, there is no information of smuggling of arms and ammunition by the LTTE by boats through Mallipattinam at present. Recently, vehicle check was intensified by police at all main roads leading towards coastal line and no Maruti vans carrying arms and ammunition were found.

2. There is no reported instance of threatening Customs officials by suspected militants/smugglers while discharging their duties except one incident reported on 23.9.89 at about 21.30 hours, in which two Maruti vans were intercepted at Pillayar Thidal in Sethubavachathiram police station limit by Customs party,.... .. The matter was reported by Customs authorities to the police in a routine manner two days after the occurrence by post and a case in Sethubavachathiram police station Cr. No. 302/89 under section 353, 352 IPC and Section 25(1) Indian Arms Act was registered and is being investigated. The customs party neither requisitioned Armed Reserve sections for the their assistance during the operation nor reported the matter immediately to police with the result that the accused involved in the alleged incident could not be chased and traced immediately.

The above report appears to be factually incorrect. The information conveyed by the Union Home Ministry, which appears to be on the basis of the reports of the Intelligence Bureau finds an independent corroboration from a contemporaneous correspondence between the Customs department and the State Government authorities. In a letter dated 20th. January, 1990, the Additional Collector, Customs, Trichy informed Secretary, TN Government, (Annexure M-50) that :- :-

(Annexure J, Vol II, Affidavit no. 214/94-JCI)

"On 16.1.90 at about 2100 hrs. while the Inspector Shri G.S. Basheer Raja of Mallipattinam (Thanjavur Dt. ) Sea base party alongwith his staff conducting road patrol at Nadium - Sethu Rasta Cross Road noticed two white Maruthi jeeps and signalled them to stop. The vehicles stopped and when the identity of Customs was revealed to the inmates of the vehicle, about five persons in the age group of 25 got down from the vehicles with rifles and ordered the Customs officers to go back from the spot. They also informed the officers that they belong to LTTE group. Since the number of persons in the militant group were more with sophisticated weapons in loaded position, the Customs Inspector and his party had no other way but to retreat silently. It is also reported by the same Inspector that there are frequent movements of Sri Lankan militants around Manora - Pillayarthidal area near Mallipattinam (Thanjavur District)."

The State Government appears to have ignored this information and sent a reply to the Union Home Ministry which is contrary to the facts informed in the above letter. Available records with the Commission do not indicate any action taken in the incident by the State authorities. No case appeared to have been registered, nor is there any evidence of any instructions issued to the concerned for initiating any follow up action.

In view of the above developments, it appears that the efforts of the State Government in form of patrolling the coastline, holding coordination meetings etc. were confined to paper only. The ground situation belies the veracity of professed measures undertaken by the State Government.

It is also seen that, during this period, while the State Government continued to put on record their resolve to combat militancy, in actual practice, nothing concrete was achieved. This is evident from the extract of the reply given by the Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu, to the Additional Secretary, MHA in the correspondence mentioned above (Annexure M-48) :-

"3. In order to put down the smuggling of arms and ammunition, if any, the coastal patrolling in Thanjavur and Ramanathapuram districts has been further strengthened. Check posts have been installed in all the vulnerable points in the coastal areas to check the movements of militants, arms and ammunition in vehicles.

The police personnel manning the bunkers to tackle the militants, Village Vigilance Committees have been formed in the coastal villages to get information about the movements of the militants and the smugglers. Action is being taken to erect observation towers in the seashore at vulnerable points to watch the clandestine arrival and departure of militants. Every possible effort has been taken to curb the activities of militants and smugglers who are conniving with the militants in the coastal areas.

4. On the basis of discreet and thorough enquiry, a list of active smugglers who are operating along the coastal areas of Thanjavur district has been sent to Customs authorities for appropriate action at their end. Close coordination is being maintained with Customs authorities and necessary instructions have been issued to the District Collectors as well as Superintendent of Police of coastal districts, especially, Thanjavur and Ramanathapuram districts to cooperate with the local Customs officials whenever they require armed reserved sections during anti smuggling operations.

The District Collectors of Ramanathapuram and Thanjavur have been advised to convene periodical coordination meetings to effect close coordination between local Revenue, Police and Customs authorities. A state level coordination committee was convened by the Government on 16.2.1990 and elaborate instructions have been issued to the District Collectors and Superintendents of police, Thanjavur and Ramanathapuram Districts to strengthen the security arrangements in the coastal line of the districts.

5.As already requested, it is envisaged that Naval detachments may be arranged to function either at Point Calimere or Mallipattinam and at Uchipuli to ensure effective check of clandestine movements of boats between island and mainland."

54.3.1 Given the situation in Tamil Nadu, the Union Government appears to have taken a serious note of the situation. The then Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Shri R. Nagarajan, was called to New Delhi to specifically discuss the deteriorating situation in Tamil Nadu with regard to Sri Lankan Tamil militancy. Shri R. Nagarajan, in his affidavit filed before the Commission (Affidavit no. 85/93- JCI) has narrated the sequence of this event as follows :-

iv) "There was a telex message from the Cabinet Secretary on 10.2.90 asking me to attend a meeting at New Delhi at the Chamber of the Cabinet Secretary. I was permitted by the State Govt. to attend the meeting and after attending the meeting at Delhi on 12.2.90 I submitted a confidential note with full details of discussion dated 14.2.90 to the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister who approved the note on 14.2.90 & 15.2.90 respectively.

This note is available in Public(SC) Department in the Govt. of Tamilnadu..... The next round of the meeting was on 20.3.90 with the Cabinet Secretary and the Union Home Secretary. During this meeting the points for discussion were about the movement of arms and ammunitions of Sri Lankan Tamil Militants from Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka between the Point Calimere and Mallipatinam in Pillayar Thidal. In furtherance of the decision taken on this meeting I had agreed to depute a Senior Police Officer to personally inspect the places mentioned and get a report and inform the Govt. of India.

Accordingly after obtaining the orders from the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister, DIG(CID) Thiru Jaffar Ali was deputed to inspect the places and interact with the local people and give a report to the Govt on the real situation. As soon as the report was received it was circulated to the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister and the contents of the report were communicated to the Govt of India for information. the concerned file is in the Public (SC) Department."

Details of the discussions held between the Central Government officials and Shri R. Nagarajan can be seen from the note of the Cabinet Secretariat (Annexure M -51) excerpted below :-

(Affidavit No 214/94 JCI of Sri. T.V.Venkataraman, Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu)

Cabinet Secretariat

"Shri. R. Nagarajan, TN Home Secretary called on Cabinet Secretary on 29.3.90. T.N.Home Secretary was informed of the following points:

(a) Government have decided that no Tamil militants of any hue should be on our soil. If they are already here, they should be kept under confinement.

(b) There are many reports of continued LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu. Customs have recently pin pointed that the nerve centre of LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu is the area between Point Calimere and Mallipatnam. From a place called Pilliayar Thidal shipments of arms/ammunition and provisions are being sent to Sri Lanka regularly........

(c) There are reports of camps being run by militants in Tamil Nadu. These are being confirmed.

(d)There have been reports of DK and DMK cadres being involved with the LTTE in training.

(e) Stern steps should be taken to apprehend supporters of LTTE and non-LTTE groups, including smugglers under COFEPOSA, NSA, etc.

(f) The Government of Tamilnadu should take stern steps to ensure that no group of Sri lankan Tamil militants uses the State for their training purposes and other logistic support. In case the Government of Tamilnadu is aware of any such activity they could seek assistance of the Central police forces.

2. Home Secretary, Tamil Nadu, stated that the policy of the State Government also was not to allow any militants on their soil notwithstanding their political sympathy with one group........

4. With reference to detention of persons indulging in smuggling activities he stated that six persons whom they wanted to apprehend under COFEPOSA etc. have been reportedly staying in Hong Kong. He was advised to consider measures available under the Act by way of confiscation of their property.

5. As regards the specific details of information provided by the Central Customs authorities, he agreed to take the details of their operations from the Cabinet Secretariat and have them again verified ..........

6. Confirmation of additional material of such activities would be indicated to T.N. Government. Home Secretary, Tamil Nadu, however, assured that within a week he will indicate to us the action taken by him in respect of the material now given to him."

54.3.2 Even after these steps had been initiated, and assurance was given by the State Government to the Central Government that appropriate action was being taken to curb the activities of the Sri Lankan Tamil militants in Tamil Nadu, it appears that nothing concrete was done.

Resultantly, the Cabinet Secretary, Shri V.C. Pande, wrote a detailed letter on 12th April, 1990, to the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu (Annexure M-52), inter alia, reiterating the concern of the Central Government regarding unhindered militant activities of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. Relevant excerpts of the letter are reproduced below :-

"..... The LTTE appears to have established a fairly elaborate network, apparently without much hindrance, not only in the coastal districts, but in the interior areas also. This includes setting up of communication facilities and the rather free movement of arms and ammunitions. These activities have been made possible from the support that the LTTE have from the large number of sympathisers and collaborators in Tamil Nadu. The support base of the LTTE also includes some known smugglers.

2. What is of greater concern is the possibility of LTTE using Tamil Nadu as a base for training their cadres. It is reported that the D.K. has been actively involved with the LTTE in training some of their men. The possibility of other political organisations also getting involved in such activities cannot be ruled out. You would agree that this could have wider ramifications for the future if such actions are not suppressed with a firm hand immediately."

This communication from the Central Government called for immediate action against the LTTE on part of the State Government. It is, however, seen that the information provided was again downplayed and denied by the State Government.

It appears that the State Government continued to extend lip sympathy to the task of curbing the militant activities of the LTTE in the State, but in actual practice, the anti militancy efforts appear to have been confined to holding of special law and order meetings and coordination meetings. Nothing concrete was done at the field level, and it appears that at the level of the State Political leadership as well as the bureaucracy, there was no will to implement any firm measure.

The reply of the Tamil Nadu Government to the Cabinet Secretary dated 25th. April, 1990, (Annexure M-53) is indicative of this trend. The letter, inter alia, stated :-

"..... Immediately we deputed a senior Police officer ( DIG, CID ( Intelligence) to visit the coastal areas and more particularly the places indicated where certain activities of LTTE are suspected to be in operation and the DIG (CID) has given his report on 3rd April.

2. Subsequently, the following two specific issues referred to the DIG (CID) for verification and report.

i) Whether any training camps are being run by LTTE ; and

ii) whether cadre members of DK or DMK are trained by them.

3. Pillayar Thidal is kept under surveillance by State Police but no suspicious activity as alleged has come to light, after 3rd April. Not only the place near Pillayar Thidal, but also all the vulnerable places where landing is possible are watched constantly. On 5.4.1990, the second meeting of State level Coordination Committee was convened by the Home Secretary and Customs officials including the Additional Collectors attended the meeting and issues relating to smugglers were discussed. The intelligence agencies of the State and the Centre are requested to report the actual position regarding the smugglers and their collaborators who have links with the militants. Action is being pursued to intensify the operation of the enforcement wing under COFEPOSA.

4. A splinter group of DK., headed by Thiru Ramakrishnan,is reported to be politically very active in support of LTTE, but there is no evidence to confirm that their cadre are given training by LTTE in Tamil Nadu. Eversince 1987, no single instance of capture of arms smuggled by LTTE from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka has been reported to the State Government. This was so even during the IPKF operations when the Indian Navy was intensively patrolling the seas. The State Government have also not received any reports of an elaborate network set up by LTTE in the coastal and other areas of Tamil Nadu. However, I would like to assure that the State Government have not failed to check on any information about activities of LTTE from whatever source it is received. Our Chief Minister, in a statement made recently on the floor of the Assembly has categorically stated that no militant group will be allowed to indulge in questionable activities in Tamil Nadu and militants will not be allowed to move with arms.

What was the sincerity with which verification of such specific information was conducted by the State Government authorities ? Evidence available before the Commission indicates that the verification conducted by the State Government was neither sincere, nor truthful. Let us take two instances :-

The State Government report denies that there were any cadres belonging to the D.K. being trained by the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. As a matter of fact, hundreds of Indian Tamil youth, predominantly from chauvinist parties like the D.K. were being recruited by the LTTE in India, trained in Jaffna, and sent back to India for carrying out LTTE operations. After the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Tamil Nadu Police detected the presence of an LTTE front organisation called the Tamil Nadu Retrieval troops (TNRT) in the State. Investigation disclosed that cadres of this organisation were largely found to have been picked up from Tamil Chauvinist parties like the D.K. and were sent in batches to Sri Lanka during May, 1990,for weapons and communications training by the LTTE. Some cadres of TNRT were also found to be involved in the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi and were chargesheeted. Details of this organisation, its objectives and activities have been dealt with later in this chapter.

As regards the situation prevailing on the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, and the reported visit of the DIG (CID) Shri Jaffar Ali, a contemporaneous report of the Intelligence Bureau brings out the ground situation. The field report of the I.B. dated 10th. May, 1990, (Annexure M-39) narrates the findings of a journalist from the newspaper 'Times of India' who had visited the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and obtained a first hand experience of the ground realities.

Mr. M.R.S. Mani of Times of India visited Ramnad, Mandapam and Rameswaram and ascertained the ground situation. He spoke to a large cross section of people who impressed upon him that the LTTE was regularly harassing the citizens. They said that the LTTE, particularly after the withdrawal of IPKF, was wielding control not only in Sri Lankan Territorial waters but also in the territorial waters of India and the coastal areas of Rameswaram, Muthupettai, Jagadapattinam, Vedaranyam and Kodiakkarai. The people were also dismayed over the pro-LTTE stance of the DMK government and the helplessness of the Central Government over the recent kidnapping of fishermen of Vedaranyam and Rameswaram by the LTTE.

The local population interviewed by the journalist also alleged that large scale smuggling aided and abetted by LTTE was going on for which LTTE was charging "Border fee" of 8%, "entry fee" and "Security charges". Smuggling was going on with the support mainly from the strong DK and DMK supporters in Muthupettai, Orathanad, Jagadapattinam, Kodiakkarai and Pudukottai areas.

When they journalist spoke to some Customs officers said that they had been orally advised in their monthly meeting with Collector, Madurai not to enter into any confrontation with LTTE. The Customs appeared demoralised after the kidnapping of 5 customs officials including an Inspector from Muthupettai. This incident served as a coup-de- grace eventually paving way for total control by LTTE. It was reported that the customs authorities established contact with the kidnappers only with the help of an important smuggler at Madurai.

The journalist was told that the local fishermen of Rameswaram had lost faith in the State Government e specially after the Chief Minister Karunanidhi's recent advise to fishermen not to violate the territorial waters.

Incidents of abduction of the Indian fishermen by the LTTE were becoming more and more frequent and there was considerable unrest among the coastal population and disillusionment with the local authorities.

The journalist also gathered that LTTE had safe houses at Salem,Pattukottai and Vedaranyam. They procured explosive substances like gelatine sticks from Karur. The Times of India correspondent took the photographs of the interviewers. He also met some fishermen abducted by LTTE who had confirmed that LTTE had kidnapped them. These fishermen showed the wounds inflicted by LTTE to disprove Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Shri Karunanidhi's claim that the abducted fishermen were treated with hospitality.

The above account is a severe indictment of the political leadership, the State Bureaucracy and the Police. The impressions gathered by the journalist in the course of his field tours, cannot be totally discounted or disbelieved. On the other hand, this account further goes to strengthen the impression that the State Government, right from the political leadership down to the lowest rung of Government functionaries, was encouraging LTTE activities in the State even at the cost of their citizens.

The disillusionment with the Government of the local population and their resentment over unbridled LTTE activities indicate that, by this time, the State Government had become more responsive to the requirements of the LTTE than to the safety of its own citizens.

54.3.3 Yet another example of the State Government downplaying the militant activities occuring at the time and justifying their attitude is seen in an elaborate reply dated 14th May, 1990, sent by the Home Secretary , Government of Tamil Nadu to the Union Home Secretary, Govt. of India, (Annexure M- 54) the State Government justified all their actions and denied the existence of any militant activities in Tamil Nadu. The following excerpts of the letter indicate the stand taken by the State Government on this issue :-


There is no L.T.T.E. Training camp in Tamil Nadu....... The Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had declared in the State Assembly categorically more than once that no Sri Lankan Militant organisation, including L.T.T.E. would be allowed to have their camp anywhere in Tamil Nadu and no militant would be allowed to carry weapons and the weapons found, if any, would be confiscated and the militants found with weapons would be dealt with in accordance with law..... ....


A Conference styled as "Self-Determination of Tamil National Conference" was convened on 25- 2-1990 at Periyar Thidal, Egmore, Madras. This Conference was held before the I.P.K.F's withdrawal from Sri Lanka. The leaders of the Front Organisation of CPI (ML) Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamil chauvinists participated in the Conference. In the conference, the following parties distributed few pamphlets in support of L.T.T.E........

The pamphlets contain the slogans praising L.T.T.E. and asking the I.P.K.F. to withdraw from Sri Lanka.....


There is no organisation in Tamil Nadu preaching separatism and the Government does not tolerate separatism under any guise. However, a few individuals on certain occasions talk like separatists to suit their political convenience..... The Government of Tamil Nadu is taking prompt and severe action against those who express such views against National Unity.......


There is absolutely no basis in the allegation that Dravida Kazhagam cadres are being trained by L.T.T.E. Thiru K.Veeramani, General Secretary of Dravida Kazhagam has denied the reports and allegations of the L.T.T.E. training young D.K.cadres in Tamil Nadu and has characterised them as mischiveous, false and baseless. ..... cadres of Dravida Kazhagam do not come to notice as taking armed training in Tamil Nadu.....


There is no truth in the allegation that the L.T.T.E. cadres are moving unhindered in Tamil Nadu Coastal area.......

The Tamil Nadu Police have taken all measures within their means to curb the movement of cadres of any Sri Lankan Tamil Organisation along the coast or inside Tamil Nadu. Police check-posts, manned by Tamil Nadu Special Police personnel with Light Machine Gun, Sten gun and Thomson Gun and also with sand bunkers have been erected at vantage points in Coastal roads in Ramnad and Tanjore districts. Vehicular patrolling with armed policemen is effectively arranged along the coastal roads to detect and prevent the movement of Sri Lankan militants and smuggling of arms and ammunitions, if any. Supply of sophisticated weapons to Tamil Nadu Police with proper training is now proposed to be organised ...


There is no instance that the Tamil Nadu fishermen were harassed by L.T.T.E. on the Tamil Nadu side of the I.B.L.....

On the following three occasions, the Indian fishermen who reportedly crossed I.B.L. were taken to Sri Lanka coast and released in a day or two:-

1. On 28.3.1990, out of two hundred fishing boats that left Nagapattinam for fishing, 58 boats carrying 311 fishermen did not return....... On 30.3.90 all of them returned to Nagapattinam safely. It is suspected that the L.T.T.E. cadres had taken them and warned them not to fish in Sri Lanka waters and sent them back safely.

2. On 7.4.1990, eighty four mechanised boats with 393 persons of Jegathapattinam and 23 mechanised boats with 92 persons from Kottaipattinam (Pudukottai district) while fishing in the Sri Lankan waters, four fibre boats with 12 suspected L.T.T.E. militants armed with weapons surrounded them and took them along with their boats to Jaffna. The fishermen were guarded by the L.T.T.E. militants ..... They were warned not to fish again in Sri Lankan waters and were sent back on 8.4.90.

3. On 17.4.90, 18.4.90 and 19.4.90, fifty seven fishermen of Rameswaram .... were fishing in the Seventh Islet in the Adam stretch, in Sri Lankan waters, some armed men in a fibre boat surrounded them and took them to Mannar.... They were also warned by the militants not to venture into the Sri Lankan area of the sea for fishing and were sent back safely. ....

However, the L.T.T.E. did not harass the fishermen but looked after them well and at the same time warned them not to come into the Sri Lankan waters for fishing. The Government has taken all efforts for the release of the above fishermen in all the three occasions.


A special team under the direct supervision of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ramanathapuram to investigate the cases was formed and the investigation is in progress and a few vehicles were identified. The suspects are missing and police is keeping a close watch. This is the first instance where one policeman had lost his life on an encounter with Sri Lankan militants so far.


....Like other Sri Lankan militant organisations, L.T.T.E. also has an office at Raja Annamalaipuram for their political contacts and there is no unlawful activity in this office. Close surveillance is being maintained on this office as on offices of other militant organisations.

(1) There is no information regarding L.T.T.E.'s Plan to organise tours by reputed Tamil cine musicians to Switzerland, Denmark, Canada and Tamil areas of Sri Lanka for raising funds......"

54.3.4 The interaction of the Central Government, it is seen, was not confined to the bureaucratic level alone. At the political level, too, the matter was taken up. On 15th. May, 1990, the then Union Home Minister, Shri Mufti Mohammed Sayeed wrote a letter to Shri M. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, (Annexure M-55) inter alia, pointing out :-

"Certain disquieting reports have come to us about the activities of some Sri Lankan Tamil militants in Tamil Nadu. The LTTE is reported to have established an office with telephone facility in Raja Annamalaipuram, Madras. It is also reported that the LTTE is augmenting its finances by selling smuggled gold and resorting to illegal financial transactions. The money so collected is reportedly being used for purchase of uniform clothing, battle outfits, explosives and propaganda material. There are also reports to the effect that the LTTE is planning to organise tours by reputed Tamil cine musicians to some Western countries for raising funds through stage performances. A Tamil music troupe has also been booked to present programmes in Tamil areas in Sri Lanka for raising funds.

2.......it is somewhat surprising that the above-said activities of the LTTE have not been noticed so far by the State Government. I may mention that the Central Government has, even on earlier occasions, been apprising the State Government regarding reports on arms smuggling by LTTE and other cadres using coastal areas in Tamil Nadu................

3. ....... strict measures are called for to insulate Tamil Nadu from the activities of Sri Lankan militant groups. There is also an urgent need to make it clear to the concerned quarters that the Tamil Nadu Government cannot be taken for granted. You may kindly like to issue appropriate instructions to all concerned in the State Government that they would take full care to pre-empt the possibility of any impression being created that Tamil militants could deal directly with the State Government functionaries......"

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri M. Karunanidhi sent a reply to this letter on 23rd. May, 1990,(Annexure M- 56) reiterating the official stand of the Government that there were no militant activities going on in Tamil Nadu. In the letter, it was, inter alia, stated :-

"...As far as LTTE is concerned, they are few and far between and all the hard core militants had already left the State. Only a handful of sympathisers and stragglers are remaining for political propaganda. So far, no report has been received by the State Government about the arms smuggling by the LTTE. ......... Further the State Government has taken a number of steps to strengthen the shore patrolling on the coastal area and a periodical report is sent to Government of India at official level......

3. A vigilant watch is being maintained on the movements of Sri Lankans........"

4. I had also requested for the strengthening of the Naval patrolling in the area and a district level coordination committee has been formed to watch the situation at the local level and to do the needful. .... The State police have given strict directions to disarm the militants if they are found to be with weapons."

Shri M. Karunanidhi reiterated this stand during his deposition before the Commission on 23rd. November, 1996 and 21st. February, 1997. On this aspect, he deposed :-

Deposition of Shri M Karunanidhi dt. 23-11-96

"There was a large influx of Tamil refugees after the deinduction of IPKF in March 1990. There were some militants in the refugees, all the groups including LTTE. And they were segregated and were put up in different Camps.

It is not true that predominantly among them were LTTE cadres. Large number of them were fighting War in Jaffna and having control in Jaffna, only few of them were in Tamil Nadu. They were mixed up with local populace and they could not be identified. Some of them were attempting to establish communication network. One or two bases were found and they were disbanded and proper action was taken. There was no communication base for LTTE in Madras but there were one or two bases in the Coastal areas. No base was in Tiruchi.

There were arms, communication equipments, ammunitions, found proper steps were taken. Steps were taken to obtain AK-47 etc. It is not true that I have a particular leaning or liking for the LTTE."

Regarding the interaction on this subject with the Central Government during the period, Shri Karunanidhi deposed that :-

Deposition of Shri M. Karunanidhi dt. 21.2.97

" I received a letter Ex. 636 dated 15th May 1990 from Sh. Mufti Mohd. Sayeed the then Home Minister which was addressed to me as Chief Minister. We also understood the concern and taken steps to alleviate that concern. I have already taken action against infiltration of LTTE in the form of refugees and also coming in the garb of sick persons coming for treatment. To retrieve the abducted Customs Officer, Tamil Nadu Govt had taken action."

54.3.5 This professed public posture of the D.M.K. with regard to the LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu, does not appear to have been converted into actual implementation.

While the LTTE activities are seen to have increased significantly during the period, there was a parallel development following the deinduction of the IPKF from Sri Lanka which has been mentioned in various State and Central Government reports of the period. The influx of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India once again assumed serious proportions after March, 1990. Among the *refugees, there were several non LTTE Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups who fled Sri Lanka in large numbers; those who stayed back were systematically massacred by the LTTE.

This influx of non LTTE groups in India, notably the EPRLF, with whom the LTTE had a bitter acrimony, had serious repercussions in Tamil Nadu. On the evening of June, 19, 1990, Padmanabha, the Secretary General of EPRLF, and 14 others were shot dead by a killer squad of the LTTE in the heart of Madras. The killer group escaped from the spot. This case was found to be of extreme significance with regard to the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi.



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