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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 25 to 29

25. Arrival of rival Sri Lankan Tamil Nadu Groups in India | 26. Political criticism of militant activities in Tamil Nadu - January - June 1990 | 27. Events preceding the massacre of EPRLF cadres in Madras | 28. Arrest of LTTE cadres - 13-14 June, 1990 | 29. Massacre at Madras - Assassination of Padmanabha and 14 others by LTTE - June 19, 1990

Arrival of Rival Sri Lankan Tamil Groups in India

55 The phenomenon of influx of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India, and the possible danger of arrival of militants in the garb of refugees was pointed out in the following intelligence report (Annexure M-57):-

(Cabinet Sectt.(R&AW) U.O.No.15/11/90-SLM-1790 dated 18.06.90)

"Since March 1990, the number of Sri Lankan Tamils arriving at Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu has increased. They prefer to avoid the normal route via Rameswaram due to the present attitude of Tamilnadu Government which, they feel, is hostile.

2. Right from the point of disembarkation at Kanyakumari, they are being escorted by a number of agent-gangs both from Kerala and Tamilnadu who bring these Sri Lankan Tamils to the border districts of Tamilnadu and Kerala. Most of them prefer to go to Idukki district of Kerala where a number of Sri Lankan Tamils are already working as estate labour in areas like Pachakkanam.

3. Due to the present clashes between the Sri Lankan forces and LTTE, there can be a large scale influx of Sri Lankan Tamils to the hilly border districts of Tamilnadu and Kerala. Presence of militants among them cannot be ruled out."

55.1 It was a fact that alongwith the refugees militant cadres of several Sri Lankan Tamil groups had also begun to come into Tamil Nadu. The presence of LTTE in Tamil Nadu during this period cannot be disputed. There appears sufficient reasons to believe that there existed a tacit understanding between the State political leadership with the LTTE which also manifested itself in the pro LTTE stance of the State bureaucracy. The cumulative result of these factors at the ground level was a complete apathy of the State law enforcement and intelligence machinery, which appears to have been geared to acquiesce to the political attitudes.

For the LTTE, it appears, settling scores with their rival groups became easier in Tamil Nadu that in Sri Lanka, where they were engaged in armed conflict with the Sri Lankan Armed forces.

The danger of a large scale internecine warfare breaking out in Tamil Nadu was in the contemplation of the State Government authorities as is evident from their anxiety not to permit the incoming EPRLF cadres from entering Tamil Nadu. Shri R. Rangarajan, in his affidavit no. 85/93-JCI, filed before the Commission, speaks about this apprehension. In his affidavit, he submitted :-

v) "During March 1990 there were two ship loads of EPRLF cadres alleged to be possessed with weapons sailing from Trincomalee to Madras Port in Harshawardana and Tippu Sultan. The entry into Tamilnadu was objected to by the State Govt. and the then Chief Minister had written to the then Prime Minister in a D.O. letter dated 19.3.90 stating that such an entry by EPRLF would lead to group clashes in Tamilnadu and create Law & Order problems. Ultimately the ships were diverted to Visakhapatnam and the EPRLF cadre men along with other refugees were given shelter at Orissa."

This sequence has been also narrated by former Director General of Police, Shri S. Sripall in his affidavit no. 40/92-JCI. He submitted :-

(Affidavit No. 40/92-JCI of Shri. S.Sripall)

Para 16.

"..... soon after the deinduction of IPKF from Sri Lanka in 1989, the EPRLF leaders and cadres decided to leave Sri Lanka. Accordingly the EPRLF cadres left Sri Lanka on 8.3.90 in a ship called "Harashavardhana" and came to Madras Harbour. But, since the then DMK Government in Tamil Nadu protested against the EPRLF leaders being given asylum in Tamil Nadu, the said ship was diverted to Orissa where they were accommodated. Again on 11.3.1990 Padmanabha, EPRLF leader and 295 EPRLF cadres left for Sri Lanka for Orissa by Plane."

Sequence of events, as it emerges from the correspondence available on this subject, is as follows (Annexure M-58):-

(Letter No C.11(a) No 226/C dated 09.03.1990 of `Q' branch CID Madras to the Govt of Tamil Nadu) [Annexure J -Vol II attached to Affidavit No 214/94]

"There was information that the members and supporters of the EPRLF and the ENDLF in north-eastern Sri Lanka were to come to Madras port through ships as refugees. This was communicated to the Commissioner of Police, Madras in advance for taking necessary action. In this regard the 'Q' branch CID was maintaining a close watch at Madras harbour and also on the EPRLF and ENDLF members in Madras city.

2. On 8.3.90 at about 8.00 am a ship by name "Harshavardhana" belonging to the shipping corporation of India arrived Madras port in the east quay. Proper police bandobust was provided near the ship by the Madras city Police. Enquiry revealed that there were 347 male, 219 female and 181 children, totally 747 Sri Lankan Tamils, supporters of EPRLF and their families. The ship was reported to have left Trincomalee Port on 7.3.90 night. The above Sri Lankan Tamils in the ship did not possess any valid travel documents to get down at Madras Port. However the officials of the immigration department and the officials from the Collectorate Madras were present near the ship. The Sri Lankan Tamils from the Ship did not get down from the ship. After refuelling and filling (provisions) rations, and other essential commodities the ship left Madras port, by 8 PM on 8.3.90 to an unknown destination.

3. After the departure of " Harshavardhana " another ship " Tippu Sultan" belonging to the Shipping corporation of India arrived Madras port the same day at about 8.30 PM and berthed in the same bay where "Harshavardhana" was berthed. Enquiries revealed that about 650 Sri Lankan Tamils, supporters of ENDLF and their families were in the ship. They too did not get down as they were not having any valid travel documents. The ship after refuelling, taking rations and other commodities left Madras Harbour at 0315 hrs on 9.3.90.

4. It is reliably learnt that in the ship "Harshavardhana" ......members of the north eastern Provincial Council belonging to EPRLF were present ..... In both the ships there were military guards."

On this letter the observations of the Chief Secretary on 11.3.90 are as under:

" Secy Pub (L&O) : We did not any information on this till we heard about this from the rehabilitation side. We may ask DIG CID when he got to know about this earliest. Why he did not keep us informed. "

(Letter No C .11.(A) No 227/C dated 10.03.90 from the `Q' Branch CID Madras to the Govt of Tamil Nadu. Annexure J- Vol II of Affidavit 214/94)


"..... Among the two ships which left Madras Port on 09.03.90 and 10.03.90 the first ship "Harshavardhana" reached Visakhapatnam Port on 09.03.90 night between 23.30 hrs and 2400 hrs. The Sri Lankan Tamils in the ships were disembarked and they were immediately put into buses and sent to Koraput district in Orissa State. The second ship "Tippu Sultan" reached Visakhapatnam Port at 0530 hrs on 10.03.90. In this ship the .... North- Eastern council members of the ENDLF were present.....

This batch left Visakhapatnam Port by buses to Orissa at 0930 am to day (10.03.90)

2. According to the Visakhapatnam Port Harbour Police in both the batches there were a total of 1324 Sri Lankan Tamils including male, female and children. On enquiry with the Superintendent of Police, Koraput district, Orissa state, it is gathered that the two batches of Sri Lankan Tamils will be made to settle at two places called Malkangiri and Sattiguda. Both the places come under Malkangiri sub division, in Koraput district. The district Revenue officials are preparing to receive them. The first batch will reach Malkangiri in the afternoon and the second batch in the evening.

3. It is gathered through sources and discreet enquiries that the EPRLF and ENDLF members in Madras are planning to leave Madras to Koraput and they are planning to bring the above Sri Lankan Tamils in batches to Tamil Nadu. Hence it is requested that the Government of Orissa may be intimated about the move of the EPRLF and ENDLF and the Government of Orissa may be requested not to allow them to come to Tamil Nadu, in view of the Law and order problem arising out of their movement here."

On this the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu observed as under on 11.03.90 :-

" Discussed with the CM . CM desired that CS Orissa should be requested to prevent their coming to TN.

I tried to contact on telephone,but could not. The telex attached may therefore be issued."

(Crash Teleprinter Message dated 11.3.90 sent by Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu to Sri Misra, Chief Secretary Government Of Orissa in No SRII/778/90)


"It is learnt that two ship loads of Sri Lankans containing among others members of two militant organisations EPRLF and ENDLF have been unloaded at Visakhapatnam and are on their way to Koraput in your state. We further understand that some EPRLF and ENDLF persons are trying to get in touch with them in Koraput with a view to bring them in batches to Tamil Nadu. Arrival of these persons in Tamil Nadu will spark off Law and Order problems in this State. It was because of this reason that this State Government did not agree to disembarking them in Madras. We will greatly appreciate if you will kindly instruct the authorities in Koraput not to allow these Sri Lankan Tamils to be sent to Tamil Nadu.

(Letter No C.11(A) no 227/C dated 13.03.90 from `Q' branch CID to the State Govt. Annexure J vol II of Affidavit No 214/94 JCI.)


".........the two batches of Sri Lankan Tamils belonging to the EPRLF and ENDLF have reached Malkangiri and Satiguda in Koraput district, Orissa State on 10.03.90 and the district administration has made all arrangements for their stay. It is further gathered that 278 Sri Lankan Tamils belonging to EPRLF and ENDLF were air lifted from Sri Lanka through Indian Air Force air crafts and they reached Bhuvaneswar on 10.03.90 and they were also sent to Koraput District. Among them, it is learnt that the General Secretary of the EPRLF Sri Padmanabha and ENDLF North Eastern council minister Rajaratnam and some members of the North Eastern council are present. It is also learnt that more than 3600 such EPRLF and ENDLF cadres are waiting to be transported either by sea or air from Sri Lanka and all of them will be brought to Orissa only.

These militants may even resort to criminal activities posing serious law and order problems wherever they are. The leaders of EPRLF and ENDLF in Tamil Nadu are trying to bring these militants who are now in Orissa, to Tamil Nadu in batches clandestinely. The Orissa Government may be informed of the above fact and requested to have a better control and check over these Sri Lankan Tamils and to have a fool proof security system around them.

On this letter the following observations have been made by the Chief Secretary on 13.3.90. as under:-

" We have already sent a telex to Orissa Chief Secretary on this. Put up circulation note to CM."

(Letter No C.11(A) no 265/C dated 20.03.90 from `Q' branch CID to the State Govt. Annexure J vol II of Affidavit No 214/94 JCI.)


"This letter is in response to the queries raised by the Chief Secretary on 11.3.90 on the letter of `Q' branch dated 9.3.90.

2. In this regard it is to be stated that reliable information regarding the arrival of large number of members and leader of the EPRLF , ENDLF with the IPKF to Madras Harbour at any time, was received by this branch on 7.3.90 and immediately it was flashed to Commissioner of Police, Madras vide letter No C.11(A) No 213?C dated 7.3.90. marking copies to the Home Department and Public department. In the note the Government was requested to issue strict instructions to IPKF not to transport any Sri Lankans either by air or ship without clearance from the Government of India, and also suggesting that Immigration officials be posted at Airforce Station, Tamabaram to screen the Sri Lankan Tamils travelling from Sri Lanka. ...."

The above correspondence discloses that the State machinery, including the CID were taking a keen interest in tracking the movements of the EPRLF and ENDLF cadres. The Political leadership in Tamil Nadu was very firm that these cadres should not be allowed to come to Tamil Nadu. Hectic efforts were undertaken to prevent their entry in Tamil Nadu and officers of the 'Q' Branch were sent as far as to Orissa to monitor the situation. An I.B. report of the period provides a disturbing information that one of the officials of the 'Q' Branch, CID, of Tamil Nadu police was regularly in touch with the LTTE and was providing information to the LTTE regarding the movements of the EPRLF cadres. The report states (Annexure M-63(i)):-


"According to a sensitive source, the 'Q' Branch CID is receiving information regarding the goings on in the Malkangiri refugee camp (Orissa). Ambikapathy, Dy.SP 'Q' Branch is keeping the LTTE in Madras informed of all such information. He has also informed Walter (LTTE) that about 25 EPRLF cadres have deserted the Malkangiri camp so far. Ambikapathy is expected to leave for Orissa on March 31. "

Deposing on the aspect of watch being kept on the EPRLF leaders and their movements by the State intelligence, the then DIG (CID), Tamil Nadu, Shri Jaffar Ali stated before the Commission that :-

(Deposition of S.I. Jaffar Ali dt. 10.3.1997)

"In March, 1990, EPRLF men were accommodated in Orissa. I sent my DSP one Ambikapathi to meet Padmanabha and check up his programme and also ascertain whether he anticipate any attack by anybody but unfortunately within ten days of reaching Orissa, Padmanabha had left the camp and DSP was informed that he has gone towards Delhi. We kept a watch in Madras in a few known places, for his arrival but he did not turn up. This was in April-May, 1990. I did not report to the Government the arrival of Padmanabha in June, 1990. I did not receive any information about his arrival in Madras..."

It is interesting to notice the efficiency of the State intelligence agency, who managed to keep a close surveillance over the movements of rank and file of the non LTTE groups such as EPRLF, ENDLF and TELO, who were located in refugee camps far away in Orissa. Many of the leaders and members of these groups were picked up by the State Police as they deserted their camps in Orissa and came to Tamil Nadu. Reports of the 'Q' Branch of the period give an indication of this (Annexures M-64 & 65):-

(Letter No C.11(A) no 341/C dated 08.04.90 from `Q' branch CID to the State Govt. Annexure J vol II of Affidavit No 214/94 JCI.)

"Among the Sri Lankan Tamil Militants who are housed at Malkangiri refugees camp in Koraput district Orissa State the following 13 Sri Lankan Tamil Militants belonging to TELO ( Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation)(Selvam Group) escaped from the camp, arrived Madras on 6.4.90. and were staying at No 83/3 Sadasivam Nagar, Madipakkam, Chennai Anna East district and on 7.4.90 at 2130 hrs they were arrested ......

In this connection a case in Madipakkam PS Cr.No 83/90 u/s 151 Cr PC r/w 7(1) (a) of Criminal Law Amendment Act and 14 of Foreigners Act was registered against them and they were sent for remand.

( Letter No C.11(A) no 399/C dated 26.04.90 from `Q' branch CID to the State Govt. Annexure J vol II of Affidavit No 214/94 JCI.)

"One Kumaraguru and 91 other male Sri Lankan Tamils belonging to the EPRLF ( Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front) and who have escaped from Sajjiguda refugees camp in Malkangiri Sub-Division in Koraput district Orissa State, were arrested by Madras city Police with the assistance of `Q' branch, CID on 26.4.90 morning and a case in Kodambakkam PS Cr. No 807/90 u/s 151 Cr.PC r/w 7(1) (a) Criminal Law Amendment Act and section 14 of Foreigners Act. The arrested are being sent for remand. Detailed report follows."

Such was the apprehension in the minds of the State Administration regarding the arrival of rival Sri Lankan Tamil groups in Madras, that, from the very beginning, the Chief Minister, Shri Karunanidhi himself, played an important role in advising the Central Government that the rival Sri Lankan Tamil factions should be kept out of the State of Tamil Nadu.

On this aspect, Shri Karunanidhi stated during his deposition before the Commission :-

(Deposition of M. Karunanidhi dt. 23rd. November, 1996) ( Page 11)

"..I was not prepared to accept and allow EPRLF boats to come to Tamil Nadu Coast and requested the P.M. to shift them to some other place and thereupon they were asked to land at Orissa.

When I learnt about their movements from Orissa I wrote a letter to the P.M. on 26.4.90 and requested that they may be shifted to Andamans as was suggested by me earlier. "

Following is the letter written by Shri M. Karunanidhi, dated 26.04.90 (Annexure M-66) to the Prime Minister Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh :-

"I wish to bring to your kind notice that the refugees from Sri Lanka who have been kept at Malkangiri camp, Koraput district in Orissa State have already started leaving their camp. In fact a considerable number of them are already reported to have come to Tamil Nadu either by train or by road transport. Recently, we came across 12 such persons who had left Malkangiri camp and the State Police detained them, but subsequently they have been released on bail by the court. Once such persons are released on bail they are not easily traceable. Another 92 persons from the Malkangiri camp were found in Madras city to day and they have been arrested. It is possible they will also get released on bail by the courts.

2. These refugees could be prosecuted only under the Immigration Act or under the Indian Passport Act. But we have been advised that such prosecution cannot be sustained in this particular case, as they were brought by Indian Ships to an Indian port. Moreover, they have been treated so far as refugees on Indian soil.

3. We are hoping that they would be going back to Sri Lanka but this has not materialised so far. Therefore, unless certain urgent measures are taken to restrict their movements in the main land and more particularly to prevent their inflow into Tamil Nadu, their presence in Tamil Nadu may create series of problems and it is likely that some of them may indulge in Criminal and other anti social activities in future. May I therefore suggest that Government of India may consider bringing in special legislation or other suitable measures, to invoke powers to restrict their movement outside the Malkangiri camp? Alternatively I would also like to reiterate my earlier suggestion that these persons could be taken to Andamans, which is culturally and climatically closer to Sri Lanka than Orissa and from where they will find it difficult to leave and come into Tamil Nadu.

4. I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify the position about a problem that has been brought to my notice by the Government of India through official channel about the activities of LTTE cadre. Action has already been initiated to strengthen the coastal on-shore patrolling along the Tamil Nadu coast to watch the movement of the militants including those of the LTTE. Recently when the fishermen of Tamil Nadu were taken away, reportedly by the LTTE cadre on the Palk Strait, I gave them a warning in a statement on the floor of the Assembly that if such things were repeated the State Government would take strong measures to protect the rights of our fishermen. I have made it also very clear that no militant group will be allowed to have their base in Tamil Nadu or indulge in any questionable activity in the state.

5. Even with all these measures, the question of preventing their movements between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka remains a problem. I would very much appreciate, if Navy patrolling is intensified to restrict such movements and prevent possible smuggling of arms and ammunitions. May I therefore request your kind intervention to issue instructions to the Naval and Coast Guard authorities to intensify their patrolling in the sea between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu? I would like to assure you that we on our part will spare no effort to curb the activities of the militants in Tamil Nadu."

This letter of the Chief Minister was replied by the Prime Minister of India, Shri V.P. Singh in May, 1990,(Annexure M-67) who assured necessary action on the request.

(Letter dated May .., 1990 of Shri V.P. Singh, Prime Minister to Shri M. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.) (Ann.F(a) of Aff. 214/94)

"I have your letter of the 26th April, regarding the Sri Lankan refugees in Orissa.

I have asked Home Ministry to look into the points made by you and also coordinate with the Government of Orissa for strengthening security arrangements in the Malkangiri Camp.

Last evening when Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wijetunge called on me, I reiterated to him the urgency of creating conditions of safety and security in their North Eastern Province to enable Sri Lankan Tamils in India to return to their homes."

The above concerns of the Tamil Nadu ruling party disclose that the State administration perceived the non LTTE Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups to be the source of criminal activities in Tamil Nadu. On the other hand, it is seen that the criminal actions of the LTTE were constantly being underplayed and denied.

In terms of concrete action, it is further seen, that the State machinery was taking firm measures in curbing the activities of the non LTTE groups, their reaction to LTTE was, in comparison, far subdued and muted.

This impression is further strengthened by the following communications (Annexures M-68 & 69):-

(Telex message No SR II /1420-1/90 dated 27.4.90 from the Chief Secretary, Madras to Sri BG Deshmukh, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister New Delhi.)

"I have been instructed by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to request you kindly to bring the following information to the notice of the Honourable Prime Minister.

One Hundred and eleven Sri Lankan Tamils belonging to Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front who have escaped from Satiguda refugees camp in Malkangiri sub division in Koraput District, Orissa State and arrived at Madras were arrested by the Police on 26.4.90 and a case was registered against them. All the arrested were sent for remand.

Subsequently on 27.4.90 small hours on information that a group of Sri Lankan militants belonging to Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP) occupied a house at KK Nagar, Madras city and indulging in acts disturbing normalcy. A raid was conducted in the house and 60 (Sixty) persons including Puratchi Mani were arrested. Most of them are believed to be formerly belong to EPRLF. and recently recruited to EPDP by Douglas Devananda. On the search 6 magazines and 33 rounds of AK 47 rifle, one sword and one 0.22 air rifle were seized and on further information a house in Choolaimedu was searched which led to the arrest of 7 male and 5 female members. They were in possession of explosive substances . Four sets of walkie talkie were also seized. On the information given by them, one Selvam (EPRLF) who was alleged to have been abducted at Kodambakkam on 26.4.90 was traced in a house in Ice house Limits. All the arrested are being sent for remand and two cases were registered against them under IPC and Foreigners Act, Arms Act, Explosives Act, and Telegraph act."

( Letter No C.11(A) no 416/C dated 30.04.90 from `Q' branch CID to the State Govt. Annexure J vol II of Affidavit No 214/94 JCI)

"To day (30.04.90) at 0930 hrs the following 38 Sri Lankan Tamils belonging to TELO who have escaped from the refugees camp in Malkangiri Sub-division in Koraput district Orissa State were arrested by Inspector of Police, (Law and order) Rameswaram and party near Namma Nayaki Amman Koil, Rameswaram Road, Rameswaram......

In this connection a case in Rameswaram PS Cr. No 286/90 u/s 151 Cr.PC and 7 (1) a CLA and 14 of Foreigner's Act was registered."

The Tamil Nadu Administration was well aware of the offices of LTTE as well as the other Sri Lankan Tamil groups functioning from Madras. This is evident from the letter written by Shri R. Nagarajan to the Central Government (Annexure M- 54), relevant excerpts of which are reproduced below :-

(Letter No. SR.II/1568-3/90, Dated: 14.5.1990 from Secretary to Government, Home P&E Department address to Thiru Naresh Chandra, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs)


After the ethnic problem erupted in North eastern part of Sri Lanka, a heavy influx of Sri Lankan Tamils arrived in Tamil Nadu since 1983 and the young people among the Sri Lankan Tamils who were affected by the atrocities of Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Army, formed various militant groups to guard the Tamil population and with their close contact with Indian due to geographical proximity and cultural and linguistic affinity, they started their camps and offices in India, especially in Tamil Nadu. Almost all the Sri Lankan militant groups had their camps in various parts of Tamil Nadu and their offices in Madras for political contact. After the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement 1987, the training camps of all Sri Lankan militant organisations were wound up and they continue their office in Madras. 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.

All the Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups have their offices in Madras city, for political contacts. the TELO has its office at No.11, Second Street, State Bank Colony, Virugambakkam, Madras-92. TELO(S) has its office at No.10, 5th Main Road, C.I.T. Nagar, Nandanam, Madras. The E.P.R.L.F. has its office at No.19, Sakkiriya Colony, III Street, Nungambakkam and at No. 18/3 Thandapani Street, T.Nagar, Madras-17 and its phone No. is 443168. The ENDLF has its office at No.7, Subbarayan Nagar, I Street, Kodambakkam. the E.R.O.S. has its office at No.27, Vellalar Street, Kodambakkam, Madras- Telephone No. 421718. The PLOT has its office at No. 11, Desikan Street, Vadapalani. E.P.D.P. has its office at No.22, Vanniyar Street, choolaimedu. Like these Sri Lankan Tamil militants, the L.T.T.E. also has a place recently at No.27, Karpakam Avenue, Mandaveli, Raja- Annamalaipuram, Madras. They are utilising this premises for political activity alone and not for any other illegal activities. They have a telephone No. 847687 also."

The Home Secretary, Shri R. Nagarajan has justified the functioning of the offices and reassured the Central Government that the LTTE has not come to notice in criminal offences. In the letter, he states :-

"......It is not out of place to mention that except L.T.T.E. almost all the other organisations have come to adverse notice for their criminal activities like murder, kidnapping, dacoity, robbery etc. and cases were registered and they have been taken to courts."

The basis for this observation is not known. State Intelligence reports, which were regularly put up to Shri Nagarajan as Home Secretary, had reported numerous instances of blatant crimes committed by the LTTE. This observation of Shri R. Nagarajan is obviously not based on facts; such a projection by the Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu also discloses the attitude of the State Government towards the LTTE.

It is clear that the approach of the State Government of Tamil Nadu, at this stage , was definitely lopsided. While the State administration kept emphasising the criminal activities of non- LTTE groups, the blatant LTTE activites in Tamil Nadu were persistently denied, and where a denial was not possible, it went to the extent of justifying them.

When we look at the efficiency of the State Police 'Q' Branch CID in tracking the movements of non LTTE cadres all the way from Orissa to Tamil Nadu and affecting their arrest, it becomes rather incredible that they were unaware of the activities of the LTTE in the State.

Political Criticism of the Militant Activities in Tamil Nadu: Jan-June 1990

55.2 The continuing unhindered activities of the LTTE came under persistent criticism from various quarters and were increasingly becoming a cause of embarrassment to the political leadership of Tamil Nadu.

In the State Assembly, the LTTE activities and allegations of State inaction dominated the debates where the DMK party came under severe indictment for allowing the LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu which were disturbing the peace of the State and causing hardships, particularly to the fishermen on Tamil Nadu coastal belt.

The Stand of the DMK President and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri.M.Karunanidhi in the State Assembly (Annexure M-70) castigating the role of the IPKF in Sri Lanka came under fire in the Assembly. Shri.Karunanidhi had declined to attend a function organised for welcoming the IPKF and in the Assembly he announced that he was not prepared to receive any Army that had killed 5000 Tamils. The ruling party also came under severe criticism for not being able to protect the Indian Tamil fishermen in the waters of the Palk Straits. A larger number of fishermen were regularly reported to have been abducted by the LTTE who would issue warnings to them before releasing them. There were also reports of constant harassment of fishermen by the LTTE and even informations regarding the existence of an LTTE controlled extortion racket.

This was an issue where Indian citizens of Tamil Nadu were being held at ransom by the LTTE right under the nose of the Tamil Nadu administration and the State Government, in turn was justifying LTTE action and warning its own citizens to desist from returning into the sea in pursuit of their only livelihood.

The refusal of Shri Karunanidhi to allow non-LTTE Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to enter Tamil Nadu was a cause for further criticism; MLAs of the opposition parties castigated the callousness of the Chief Minister in refusing succour and hospitality for other Tamil militants.

The AIADMK and the Congress(I) were not only parties who raised the issue of LTTE -DMK nexus in the Assembly. Members of the Assembly belonging to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were equally vociferous.

The CPI (M), in the Assembly it is reported, stated that it was alleged in the Parliament that the LTTE had taken control of the coastal areas and was terrorising the local custom officials, police and fisherman. CPI (M) MLA Shri. W.R.Varadarajan said that an impression was gaining ground that the LTTE men were roaming about in the state and urged the Chief Minister to explain the actual position.

Faced with such strident criticism in the State Assembly, Sri Karunanidhi, on 8th May 1990 , on the floor of the Assembly is reported to have accused the Research and Analysis wing (RAW) of trying to create a rift between the Centre and the State appealed to the Prime Minister to take appropriate action. He alleged that the RAW which was responsible in the past for creating divisions among various Tamil groups of Sri Lanka was doing the same between the Centre and the State.

However, this allegation of Shri Karunanidhi was denied by the then Prime Minister Shri V.P. Singh, who, in a press conference held on May 11, 1990, reportedly stated that the R&AW was not engaged in any such activity.

55.2.1 Even in the parIiament, it appears, the issue was causing concern and had been taken up by various political parties. This development appears to have caused further apprehension in the mind of Shri M. Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who, as per the intelligence reports, (Annexure M-71) made efforts to ensure that his point of view could be projected before the Parliament forcefully.

It appears that Shri.M.Karunanidhi was tipped off by Union Minister P. Upendra on 14th May 1990 that the Lok Sabha was likely to discuss Notices served by Congress-I and BJP MPs regarding the alleged activities of LTTE in Tamil Nadu and DMK's support to the LTTE. Reports indicate that Shri. M.Karunanidhi continued denying the allegations that the LTTE was giving arms training to DK/DMK youths in Tamil Nadu and that the LTTE was behind the law and order problems in Tamil Nadu. He continued to propagate the view that these allegations were baseless and were aimed to create a wedge between the centre and the DMK Government.

He also explained to Shri.P.Upendra the alleged atrocities committed by IPKF on LTTE and innocent Tamils, particularly at Velvettithurai during the IPKF operations on August2-4, 1989 and justified his absence from participating in the reception to the IPKF at Madras. To substantiate his argument he presented Shri P.Upendra a copy of the Tamil Booklet prepared in December 1989 by LTTE under the caption " Massacre at Velvettithurai " with a foreword by George Fernandes.

55.3 While the political compulsions forced Shri M. Karunanidhi to take an anti LTTE - anti militancy stance in public, reports of the period indicate that this posture of Shri Karunanidhi caused serious apprehensions among the LTTE leadership. Intelligence reports of the period suggest that the LTTE, at this stage, sought to seek assurances from the Chief Minister that their activities in Tamil Nadu shall not come under the State crackdown.

Contemporaneous reports of the Intelligence Bureau (Annexure M-72 & M-73) specifically state that after the announcement of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in the Assembly that he would not allow LTTE propaganda in the State, Subramaniam @ Baby, an important LTTE leader in Tamil Nadu met, Shri M. Karunanidhi and sought a clarification on this. Shri Karunanidhi reportedly assured him that his announcement in the Assembly regarding ban on propaganda would apply only to people like P.Nedumaran (TNM) and Nagaimugam who were trying to entwine Sri Lankan politics with Tamil Nadu.

The reports also suggest that the LTTE operatives in Tamil Nadu were also given reassurances by some officers of the 'Q' Branch CID of the State Police that they could continue to carry out their propaganda activities unhindered.

The plausibility of the above events becomes credible when seen in the light of the deposition of Shri Karunanidhi before the Commission where he admitted that he was supporting the LTTE and withdrew his support only after the LTTE killed Padmanabha, Secretary General, EPRLF, at Madras on June, 19, 1990. He stated :-

Deposition of Shri M.Karunanidhi, dt. 17-1-97

"....... I had supported LTTE along with other parties but after the murder of Padmanabha I withdrew my support."

Events Preceding the Massacre of EPRLF Cadres in Madras

55.4 During the first fortnight of June, 1990, available intelligence reports regarding the LTTE activities indicated that the LTTE was engaged in a range of undesirable activities in Tamil Nadu including large scale smuggling of arms, contrabands and even jeeps. It is also seen that the propaganda network of the LTTE was operating from Madras and was extremely active.

The LTTE cadres responsible for propaganda, during this period were identified to be Santhan and Dixon. Both of these cadres figure as accused in the Padmanabha assassination case of June 1990 as well as Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. There are also reports to indicate that these cadres were in regular touch with local level as well as State level DMK leaders, notably V. Gopalasamy, MP. One report of the Intelligence Bureau also mentions that Santhan, alongwith V. Gopalasamy, had met the Chief Minister Shri M. Karunanidhi on instructions from the LTTE supremo, V. Prabhakaran to arrange safe passage for injured LTTE cadres coming into India for treatment. (Annexure M-63 (xii))

Activities of the LTTE during the month of June, 1990, can be summarised in the following sequence :- (i) It was learnt that the LTTE had smuggled out 2 Maruti Gypsies on 25th May, 1990.(Annexure M-73)

By the beginning of June, hectic activity of LTTE was noticed in Tiruchy. It was noticed that two key LTTE operatives - Baby @ Subramaniam and Walter - had stationed themselves at Trichy from where they were supervising largescale transhipment of consignments from Tranquebar Coast, near Nagapattinam.

It was also reported that large consignments of explosives and other war materials were being transported to Trichy to be smuggled across the Palk Straits.

(ii) Three armed LTTE boats were reported to have clandestinely moved towards Sri Lanka from Periyathurai coastal village, Vedaranyam P.S., Tanjore district on 3rd June, 1990. These boats encountered a Customs Sea Patrol in the Sea and the LTTE cadres reportedly threatened the Customs Officials before proceeding to Jaffna.

During the same day, a team of Tamil Special Police headed by an IGP mounted a combing operation in Vedaranyam but could not unearth any presence of the LTTE militants in the area. (Annexure M-74)

(iii) It was reported on 11th June, 1990, that a batch of 12 LTTE cadres and 200 parcels were, transported by LTTE boats from Tranquebar coast. (Annexure M-75)

During this period, we find that the LTTE, while operating from Tamil Nadu, had also extended its procurement network to the neighbouring States. This has been brought out by the following report (Annexure M-76):-

(iv) ( DIB U.O. No. I(14)/90(11)- dated June 8, 1990 from Shri R.P. Joshi Director, IB to Cabinet Secretary)

(i) Indian Detonators Ltd. (IDL), Hyderabad have been supplying since April 1990 huge quantities of detonators to Senthil Explosives (P) Ltd., Coimbatore, owned by one O. Arumugasamy.

(ii) In April 1990 alone, this company had taken delivery of 7 lakh detonators worth Rs.18 lakhs. (It is learnt that the sale of explosives is not made according to rules. Detonators are shown for self use by the purchasing company but disposed of to unlicensed persons with the connivance of local officials. Our enquiries have revealed that on an average two million detonators are disposed of in Tamilnadu alone in this way evading tax.)

(iii) A close relative of Arumugasamy called Palanisamy, however, is the actual licensee and not the real owner. (It is clearly a benami transaction by Arugumugasamy.)

(iv) IDL Hyderabad are selling detonators to a company called Senthil Explosives situated at Karur under licence No.E/25(12)- 1728/MA-4021/E.

(v) The Karur firm is owned by one P.K. Thangavelu and that another person called Aruchamy of Coimbatore is having transactions with this company. (Aruchamy of Coimbatore owning a foundry in Coimbatore, was arrested in 1989 for manufacturing parts of Arul - 89 Rifle Propelled Grenade for the use of LTTE. Further enquiries are being conducted to ascertain if same Aruchamy is in receipt of explosives.)

(vi) We have so far not succeeded in ascertaining links between the LTTE and Arumugasamy of Coimbatore or Thangavelu of Karur. But as mentioned earlier, Aruchamy, an associate of P.K. Ramakrishnan (rebel DK) is connected with the LTTE."

Arrest of LTTE Cadres: 13-14 June, 1990

Mounting criticism over the State inaction in face of growing LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu apparently spurred the local police into action. The State Police organised a series of raids in the State and arrested a number of LTTE cadres on 13th and 14th June, 1990. However, the repercussions of these arrests and the reaction of the LTTE, obviously, led to a demoralisation of the already inert State Police. Events surrounding these arrests, as available from Contemporaneous reports of the Intelligence agencies disclose that (Annexures M-77 & M-78):-

(i) Tamil Nadu Police had conducted raids at a few places in Thiruvanaikkaval and Thillai Nagar in Tiruchirapalli town on June 13 night and taken into custody eight LTTE cadres. During the course of the arrest, when the LTTE cadres threatened to consume cyanide, an official of the 'Q' Branch reportedly assured that the material seized would be released as the State Government was sympathetic to LTTE's cause even though the opposition parties were finding fault with the DMK Government for doing so. The CID contacted Madras based LTTE cadres and told them that any attempt on the part of the detained cadres to consume cyanide would expose the activities of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu and cause embarrassment to the DMK Govt., the CID Official wanted the Madras based cadres to intervene to prevent any precipitate situation from developing.

It appears that the Q branch official had explicit knowledge of the regular transhipment of material from Tamil Nadu.

(ii) In another operation in Tiruchirappalli, the Police raided a hospital where three recently brought injured LTTE cadres were undergoing treatment and subsequently raided another hide-out and arrested others.

These raids evoked a reaction from the LTTE when, reportedly, V. Prabhakaran instructed LTTE operative Dixon to meet V. Gopalasamy and convey LTTE's embarrassment. It was also reported that LTTE leader Santhan, based in Tamil Nadu, contacted V. Gopalasamy to intervene in the matter and take it up with Shri Karunanidhi.

Reports also indicate that while the operation was in progress, one DMK MLA (A.Malarmannan) was brought to the scene by the police for negotiations with the LTTE men. It was learnt that after holding discussion with local DMK MLA A.Malarmannan, Police arrested 14 LTTE cadres for violation of passport rules.

Speaking about these arrests, the then DIG (CID) Shri Jaffar Ali, deposed before the Commission on 10th, March, 1990 :-

" I sent a report to the Tamil Nadu Govt. on 16.6.1990 about the arrest of 15 LTTE men at Srirangam which is already marked TN/80. They were arrested and produced in court with a request to place them under police custody for further investigation but the court rejected the plea and released all of them on bail. Their names appear in Exhibit TN/80. None of them had any criminal record to my knowledge."

Further developments on this front, and the attitude of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has been further brought out in the following I.B. Report (Annexure M-63 (iv)) :-

(A- REPORT NO. 12, DATED JUNE 18, 1990)

"....... Karunanidhi before emplaning for Delhi on June 17, expressed regret over the arrest of LTTE cadres at Tiruchi on June 13 and asked Gopalasamy (MP) to convey the same to Prabhakaran, the LTTE chief. He also told Gopalasamy to inform Prabhakaran, that this had occurred without his knowledge, but that instructions had now been given to the police not to hamper LTTE cadres/activities.

Alasamy subsequently met Dixon (LTTE activist) and conveyed the same. He also exhorted the LTTE to continue its fight till Eelam is achieved."

55.4.1 The situation of this period has been summarised in an affidavit submitted by Shri A. Subramianian, who was Superintendent of Police, 'Q' Branch, CID, Tamil Nadu from March, 1989 till 1991. Referring to the prevailing situation of this period, the affidavit states :-

(Affidavit 96/93 JCI of Shri.A.Subramaniam.)

Para 4:

"... more than one lakh refugees reached Tamil Nadu Coast from the Island when the war between LTTE and Sri Lankan Security Forces started. Due to heavy influx of refugees and cadres of militant Organisations, the Government accommodated the refugees in refugee camps whereas the cadres of militant organisations found their own accommodation scattering through out the country.

5. Thereafter the activities of Sri Lankan Tamil Militants were on the increase and they have gone to the extent of committing crimes like murder, kidnapping, drug-trafficking, theft, etc. mingling with the public.

7. The LTTE cadres also entered Tamil Nadu coast clandestinely to procure fuel, medicine, clothes etc. inspite of strict vigil by the police, Coast Guard and Navy. The DK ( Ramakrishnan group), Tamil Desiya Iyyakkam and Tamil Chauvinist organisations also helped the LTTE in Tamil Nadu soil. The nexus of LTTE cadres with members of DK(R) group and Tamil Chauvinists has created arms culture in Tamil Nadu."

The above affidavit of a State Police officer, who was directly involved in dealing with the affairs of Sri Lankan Tamil militants during the period in question, brings out the fact that the assertions of the State Government that there were no militant activities of Sri Lankan Tamil groups in Tamil Nadu during this period, was not factually correct.

The prevailing situation during the period has been comprehensively summed up in a detailed I.B. report dated 19th. June, 1990, (Annexure M-79).

The sequence of events of this period unequivocally discloses that after the outbreak of hostilities between LTTE and Sri Lankan Armed Forces, the LTTE continued to use Tamil Nadu as a base for military procurements.

The period experienced a spurt in LTTE activities at the coastal belt of Tamil Nadu; A large number of wounded LTTE cadres were clandestinely brought into the State by boats as was evidenced by the arrests made in May, 1990 by State Police in Tiruchy.

The State Police and the Customs authorities, however remained largely ineffective and inert despite public warning issued by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu that armed Sri Lankan militants would not be allowed to move around in the State.

After the raids at Tiruchy, there were indications that the LTTE pressurised the Tamil Nadu ruling party to continue to permit their free access for treatment of their cadres. The release of all the arrested LTTE cadres further rendered the police action ineffectual.

It appears that limited police operations and their ineffectiveness made a negligible contribution in allaying the apprehensions of the public that LTTE was having a free run of the State.

Shri S.I. Jaffar Ali, the then DIG (CID), Tamil Nadu, has deposed before the Commission regarding the steps taken by him to contain militancy in the State. He stated :-

(Deposition of S.I. Jaffar Ali dt. 10.3.1997)

".....To control the activities of militants on 8.2.1990, we sent Circulars to coastal SPs to erect watch towers in the coastal villages, check posts, vehicle patrol in coastal villages and formation of coastal vigilance committees with the help of local villagers to give information about strangers, smugglers, etc. I produce photocopy of crash message dated 8.2.1990 marked Exhibit TN/59. On 14.3.1990, I addressed a letter to the Govt. of Tamil Nadu requesting them to arrange for stationing of Naval detachments at Point Calimer Mallipatinam and Uchipulli, marked Exhibit TN/60. On 3.4.1990, after visiting coastal villages, I sent report to the Govt of Tamil Nadu that militants were found moving about in coastal villages and were in possession of AK 47 weapons and that local citizens are also supporting them.

I therefore requested the Govt of Tamil Nadu to arrange for Naval patrolling in the sea, marked Exhibit TN/61. On 19.4.1990, I sent message to SP, Tanjavur West to ensure that Tamil Nadu Special Police men with LMG Gun should be deployed in check post, marked Exhibit TN/61. On 20.10.1989, I sent proposal to the Govt of Tamil Nadu for training TSP men in handling LMG, AK 47 and also detecting and defusing bombs, land mines etc so that they may be fully equipped to deal with the militants. Based on that, Govt passed a G.O., according permission to train the gunmen. I also sent messages to SP concerned about the stay of LTTE men in the areas with details of place of stay. One such message is marked as Exhibit TN/62. The other messages are Exhibit TN/73, TN/64, Periodical meetings were held by Home Secretary.....

.... I also sent a note to the Govt. of Tamil Nadu on 29.5.1990 about the situation prevailing in Sri Lanka after the de-induction of IPKF. The message is marked Exhibit TN/68.

....... I sent a report to the Tamil Nadu Govt. on 16.6.1990 about the arrest of 15 LTTE men at Srirangam which is already marked TN/80. They were arrested and produced in court with a request to place them under police custody for further investigation but the court rejected the plea and released all of them on bail. Their names appear in Exhibit TN/80. None of them had any criminal record to my knowledge."

The approach towards the problem of growing Sri Lankan Tamil militancy in the State of Tamil Nadu is evident from the above deposition. It appears that, while meticulous records were created in the form of minutes of various law and order meetings and messages indicating that the Government of Tamil Nadu was earnestly attempting to control militancy in the State, the implementation of the required action appears to be half hearted and marked with indifference. This official apathy appears to be owing to the political undercurrents which were evidently travelling counter to the professed public stance of the Government.

While professing that militants will not be allowed to carry out illegal activities in Tamil Nadu, the political leadership constantly tried to play down the danger posed by LTTE activities in the State; it is seen that Shri M. Karunanidhi, whenever confronted with the growing problem of LTTE militancy in the State by the other political parties and the Central Government leadership, took pains to explain that the problem did not exist. This stand ultimately appears to have landed him into an embarrassing situation when, on June 19, 1990, the LTTE massacred EPRLF leader Padmanabha alongwith 14 others in Madras.

55.4.2 One day before the massacre, Shri Karunanidhi, who was in Delhi, told a gathering of politicians that the there was no armed presence of LTTE in Tamil Nadu. As per the affidavit filed by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in this connection before the Commission :-

(Affidavit of Atal Bihari Vajpayee no. 216/94- JCI)

(Para 2)

"In Madras I addressed a press conference in which as far as I remember I said ......

'......The BJP leader Shri A.B. Vajpayee at a press conference in Madras on July 22, 1990, said that Shri Karunanidhi has convinced the gathering which included him (Shri Vajpayee) at a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Shri V.P. Singh in Delhi that there were no LTTE camps in Tamil Nadu. He had also satisfied them that though there were LTTE men they had no arms with them. He further said that the members of the gathering including the Prime Minister V.P. Singh was convinced by Shri Karunanidhi's assertion denying armed LTTE's presence in the State. But the next day when Shri Karunanidhi was still in Delhi massacre took place killing (in the heart of Madras city) 13 EPRLF men and two civilians. The killings were quite contradictory to what Shri Karunanidhi had claimed. ....'"

Shri M. Karunanidhi, during his deposition before the Commission attempted to explain his statement as follows :-

Deposition of Shri M. Karunanidhi dt. 23-11- 96, (Page: 8)

"I told the gathering that there were no LTTE Camps in Tamil Nadu. That gathering was not when Sh.V.P. Singh hosted a dinner. Vajpayee was present, but there was no dinner, but it was an evening meeting. By Camps what I meant was that there were no training camps of LTTE as they were before. I mention that here and there were one or two armed militants. It is incorrect that I told the gathering that there is no armed militants present. Although in the press statement made by Vajpayee he said that at the gathering I told that there was no presence of militants in the State but Padmanabha killing incident happened...."

The assassination of Padmanabha was the most serious crime committed by the LTTE in Tamil Nadu heretofore. The assassination, in itself, was shocking; what becomes even more incriminating is the manner in which the investigation of this case was conducted.

Massacre at Madras: Assassination of Padmanabha and 14 Others by LTTE--19 June, 1990

The assassination of EPRLF leader and others at Madras on 19th June 1990 was a shocking reminder of the impunity with which the LTTE could operate in India. No worthwhile investigation was conducted in this case till the case was taken over by the 'Q' Branch of the Tamil Nadu police in August, 1991 - 14 months after the occurrence.

Investigations by the 'Q' Branch, CID, disclosed extremely vital clues. The case assumes significance due to the fact that striking similarities were found in the Padmanabha assassination and the case relating to the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Some of the key accused in both the cases were found to be common. Investigations have disclosed that at least six known accused in Padmanabha's assassination were common to those who were found involved in Rajiv Gandhi assassination on 21st May, 1991.

Besides, it was also disclosed that one T-56 rifle which was recovered from the hideout of LTTE accused involved in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case was the same rifle which was used for the massacre of Padmanabha. Another extremely significant and remarkable similarity, which was found was that the pellets found in the body of Shri Rajiv Gandhi were similar in shape, size and chemical composition with the pellets found from the scene of crime in Padmanabha's case. The commonness is found on the basis of available material.

Details of the crime have been narrated by Shri J. Ramakrishnan, former Superintendent of Police, `Q' Branch, Tamil Nadu Police, who had supervised the further investigation of the case. During his deposition before the Commission, he stated :-

(Deposition of Sri.J.Ramakrishnan dt. 03.01.96)

"......... I supervised the investigation of Padmanabha murder case from 1.8.91. The case was initially investigated by the Madras city Police officers and subsequently transferred to 'Q'branch CID. ............. Sunder, S/o Panchalingam was the complainant in the case. ....... The complainant Sunder has stated ... that he is the member of the EPRLF. The EPRLF leader Sri.K.Padmanabha has been residing at 3rd street , A 5 Power apartments, Zacharia colony, Kodambakkam, Madras. On 19.06.90, evening at about 6 PM the complainant along with some other EPRLF cadres were present downstairs near the apartments. At that time, they saw a white Ambassador car entering into the complex at about 6.15 p.m. One person remained in the car, two persons went upstairs.

The other two inmates of the car remained outside. The persons who went upstairs had carried each AK 47 rifles and explosives. The other two were also armed with AK 47 rifles and hand grenades remained outside. During investigation it came to light one person had remained in the car No TMA 3157. The two accused A-2 and A-3 referred to in the Chargesheet went upstair, stormed inside flat no A-5 threw grenade, opened fire, killing Padmanabha and nine others. In the meantime the person who stood outside , they also fired and threw hand grenades killing 5 persons and injuring 22 others. ........... His report was registered as a case in R 2 Kodambakkam Police Station Crime No 1205/90 . .... In all, the police recovered 164 empty cartridges from the hall, bedroom, from outside the house, roadside etc together with blood stains and other materials."

Shri S. Sripall, former Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, in his affidavit no. 40/92-JCI, filed before the Commission, has described the incident as follows :-

21. "....on 18.6.90, Padmanabha, EPRLF leader came to Palani alongwith his wife Anandhi in a tourist taxi for celebrating the 60th birthday of Anandhi's father in Lord Muruga's temple at Palani. After the function, Padmanabha left for Madras in a taxi alongwith his wife on 19.6.1990 at about 0700 hrs.and reached Madras the same day at about 1430 hrs. On that day, Yogasankari, M.P., of Sri Lanka and Kirubhakaran, erstwhile Finance Minister of North Eastern Province, Sri Lanka had also come to Madras for discussions with Padmanabha.

22. ....Santhan informed Sivarajan about the arrival and presence of Padmanabha at No.A.5 Power Apartments, Zachariah Colony, Kodambakkam. At about 1815 hrs. on 19.6.90, Sivarajan, David, Daniel, Dhilip, Ravi and Santhan left Jayabalasingam's house in the while Ambassador car TMA 3157 with AK.47 rifles, hand grenades and an improvised Thermos Flask Bomb. Santhan got down on the way, and the others came to A.5 Power Apartments, opened fire indiscriminately with AK 47 rifles and killed Padmanabha, Yogasankari, Kirubhakaran and 12 others. They also threw hand-grenades and struck terror in the locality. While 13 Sri Lankans and 2 locals died, 22 others sustained bullet and grenade injuries."

The massacre was followed by a series of crimes committed by the killer squad on their way to the Thanjavur coast from where they made good their escape two days later. On the same night, en route, the militants assaulted a police constable, abducted another constable, hijacked a Maruti van of a private person and abducted and threatened its inmates :-

Deposition of Shri J. Ramakrishnan

"The accused A2 to A6 referred to in the Chargesheet got into the car and proceeded towards Tiruchi. On the way they picked up A7. On the same night at 9.30 P.M. the accused stopped the car near Vandalur Zoo to change the number plate. At that time, two constables Chitti Babu and Kashinathan of Oteri Police Station accosted the accused. They assaulted both the police constables and wrongfully restrained one of them, namely, Chittibabu. In this connection, on the complaint of Chittibabu a case was registered in the Oteri Police Station in Crime No. 136/90 under Sec. 341 and 342 I.P.C. ........ The accused were proceeding towards Tiruchi, stopped a Maruti Van TN 017969 driven by driver Srinivasan. One Thomas Charles and his mother travelled in that Van.

This car was stopped at Villupuram at about 1.30 midnight near the level crossing. They pulled out the driver from the Van and took him to the Ambassador Car. Thomas Charles and his mother were made to sit in the rear seat of the Maruti Van. One of the accused drove the Van and another armed with rifle sat next to him. The third accused sat in the rear seat with Thomas Charles. After travelling to a distance of 3 Kilometers, they asked Thomas Charles, driver, mother of Thomas Charles to get down from the Van and the car and threatened them against informing the police. Later on the complaint of Thomas Charles a case was registered in Madras City-Crime No. 977/90 under Sec. 341, 347, 392 read with 397 and 506(22) IPC and Sec 27 of Arms Act.... Thomas Charles identified one person as having no left eye."

Investigation disclosed that the killers escaped to Sri Lanka from Vedaranyam coast two days later. As per the deposition of Shri Ramakrishnan :-

"Later the accused arrived at Tiruchi and left the Ambassador Car in the house of one Santhana Krishnan, a smuggler of Sri Lanka. Then they left Tiruchi on 20.06.1990 in the evening along with A-16 in the Chargesheet. and proceeded to Subbiah Pillai Thope near Mallipatnam in Thanjavur District. Then they left India by beat from this coast (Mallipatnam) at about 3.30 P.M. for Jaffna on 21.06.1990."

The route taken by the accused from the scene of crime at Madras to their final destination in Jaffna has been narrated by Shri Ramakrishnan as follows :-

"From Kodambakkam to Villupuram Railway level crossing it is 160 kilometers. From Villupuram to Tiruchi it is 160 kilometers more. From Tiruchi to Mallipatnam it is another 120 kilometers. From Mallipatnam to Jaffna it is about 18 nautical miles. It will hardly take 30 minutes in LTTE Boat. Accused A-2 to A-7 boarded the boat to Jaffna. Subbiah Pillai Thope is close to Mallipatnam. A-16 joined this party at Tiruchi and proceeded along with them to Mallipatnam in the Maruti Van. A-16 remained in Mallipatnam and came back to Tiruchi. The Maruti Van was abandoned at Mallipatnam at Subbiah Pillai Thotam. I got it from the confessional statement from A-7 to A-9 that A-2 to A-7 and A-16 left Tiruchi in Maruti Van and that A-2 to A-7 boarded the LTTE Boat at Mallipatnam. Some fishermen had also identified the accused who boarded the boat. One David was identified by one fishermen."

Shri S. Sripall, former Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, has traced the sequence of events leading to the killing of Padmanabha in his affidavit no. 40/92-JCI. He submitted :-

(Affidavit No. 40/92-JCI of Shri. S.Sripall)

17. ".....the LTTE had been nurturing political motive and grudge against Padmanabha, General Secretary, EPRLF, and Vardharaja Perumal of EPRLF (former Chief Minister of North East Provincial Council, Sri Lanka) and as such, they had a plan to kill them. Though Padmanabha had gone to Orissa, his wife Anandhi was residing in a house at A.5, Power Apartments, Zackariah Colony, Kodambakkam. The office of the EPRLF was also functioning in Madras at No. 19, Third Street, Zackariah Colony, Kodambakkam. Thus the LTTE would have known that Padmanabha would be visiting Madras sooner or later.

18. .... in order to get information about the movements of Padmanabha in Madras, Pottu Amman, Intelligence Chief of LTTE stationed in Nallur, Jaffna in Sri Lanka, sent some of his men to Madras. One Sivarajan (one eyed Jack), a member of the Intelligence Wing of the LTTE and Santhan @ Suthinthararaja.... were entrusted with this task ...

19........ Sivarajan and Santhan came to Madras in February, 1990. During this period, Anandhi, wife of Padmanabha was residing at No.A.5 Power Apartments, Zachariah Colony, Kodambakkam, Madras. While Sivarajan stayed in a house at No.88, Gangai Amman Koil Street, Vadapalani, Madras along with one Nagarajan, a Sri Lankan Tamil, he got Santhan admitted as a student in M.I.E.T. (Madras Institute of Engineering Technology), located in Zachariah Colony. This Institute was in close proximity to the EPRLF Office at No.19, Third Street, Zachariah Colony. Santhan was instructed by Sivarajan and the LTTE intelligence wing to move closely with the EPRLF cadres, get information about the movements of Padmanabha and pass on the same to Sivarajan.

20........during June, 1990 Sivarajan brought Daniel, David, Dhilip and Ravi - all LTTE cadres to Tamil Nadu. They stayed in the house of Santhanam at No.5/1-C Ganesh Nagar, Simco Metre Road, Tiruchirapalli. The group left Tiruchirapalli for Madras in a white Ambassador car, bearing Registration No.TMA 3157 about 10 days prior to 19.6.1990. At Madras, they stayed with Jayabalasingam at No.59 Fifth Cross Street, Trustpuram, Kodambakkam.

The affidavit given by Shri S. Sripall discloses that quite a few concrete clues and leads were available in this case during the initial stages of the investigation itself :-

Affidavit no. 40/92-JCI of Shri S. Sripall

25. "......a case in R.2 Kodambakkam Police station Cr.No.1205/90 under Sec.120-B, read with 302 IPC was registered on 19,6,1990 on the complaint of one Sundaram, an EPRLF cadre. Thiru M. Raghavachari, the then Assistant Commissioner of Police (General Section), Crime Branch, Madras City took up the investigation. Even at the initial stage of the investigation, i.e. on 22.6.1990, Thomas Charles had described one of the assailants as having no left eye. David, one of the assailants who had left Subbiah Pillai thope on 21.6.90 afternoon, was identified by Sekar (one of the fishermen) as an LTTE cadre. Thiru M. Chidambarasamy, the then Superintendent of Police, Thanjavur (West) district visited Subbiah Pillai thope on 21.6.1990 evening and found the Maruti van TN.01 7969 abandoned there. Latent finger prints on it were developed and the van was removed to Thanjavur later.

The fact that soon after the killing, it became apparent that the LTTE was responsible for the killings, gets corroboration from the following detailed intelligence report of the I.B. (Annexure M-80) which gives an indication of the information available regarding this case at the initial stages:

(DIB UO.NO.I(14)/90(11)-130 DATED 25.06.1990)

"While police investigation into the killings of EPRLF leaders/cadres in Madras city on June, 19 has not made any headway, a series of swift developments which took place soon after the crime reveal that the suspected offenders have already made good their escape from the Indian soil to the Northern parts of Sri Lanka from Pillayar Thidal off vedaranyam Coast (Thanjavur district). The police authorities have also admitted that they could now at best establish the identity of the killers with no prospects, however, of their apprehension.

2. The targeting of victims (ensuring presence of senior leaders at the time of offence), timing of the crime (waiting for the return of EPRLF leader Padmanabha to Madras) and the finesse seen in the commando type of assault (the assassinations were completed in a brief time span of 10 to 12 minutes) indicated that only a fully trained and armed group such as the LTTE would have carried out the operation. The improvised grenade ( which had 800 gms of TNT) left behind by the assailants at the scene and another handgrenade found on the roadside were fairly high power explosives which would have blown off the entire premises if they had exploded. According to the forensic experts, these are not of indigenous make and made probably in the USA for use by mercenary and insurgent groups.

3. The get-away of the assassins had been carefully planned fully utilising the slackness of the police. The car-borne assailants had threatened police constables on duty near Vandalur on the Grand South Trunk Road leading to Trichy hours after the offence on June 19 night and had later in the night changed cars by forcibly seizing a Maruti van near Villupuram about 100 miles from Madras towards Trichy. Road blocks had not been erected by the police on this crucial Highway even though it was anticipated that offenders would be making good their escape on this road. Very much later, on June 21, afternoon, the suspected assailants had abandoned the Maruti van at Pillayar Thidal and left by boats. A police party had reached the scene an hour after the offenders had escaped by speed boats which had come from Sri Lanka with some Tamil Militants in uniform. The clandestine boat movement, a frequent occurrence in this area, was also within the knowledge of the authorities.

4. Intelligence also confirms that the assassins are only LTTE cadres. A suicide squad of the LTTE, the Black Tigers with about 35 dare devil LTTE activists had been entrusted with the task of eliminating prominent "enemy" targets. The assassination of Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran and Sam Thambimuthu, all leaders of the TULF, at different periods in the last few months after LTTE had commenced negotiation with the Sri Lankan Government had taken place at the instance of his squads of " Black Tigers". Movement of units of the "Black Tigers" to Tamil Nadu prior to the June 19 offence had taken place. Even local LTTE activists were not kept informed of the movements of "Black Tigers.

5. .......According to sensitive LTTE sources, a coded message which could not be deciphered by even local LTTE cadres based in Madras had gone from Trichy on June 20 afternoon for immediate communication to the LTTE headquarters. It is inferred that this was for the purpose of arranging boats at Vedaranyam for the reception of the assailants.

This report of the Intelligence Bureau gives indications of the 'damage control' exercise being conducted by the LTTE in the State following the killing. There are clear indications of the police inaction in apprehending the culprits and detecting the case :-

6. "Though the State Chief Minister had issued clear instructions soon after the offence on June 19 night for strong action against the culprits and their apprehension, the police have been blowing hot and cold with the result that sincere and sustained attempts had not taken place. It is common knowledge that even after the offence, fully active LTTE cadres based in Tamil Nadu have not been picked up for interrogation. However, the State administration is going through the motions of launching preventive measures. The Chief Secretary, Tamil Nadu who had a meeting with senior police officials on June 23 reportedly found fault with them for failure to prevent the suspected assassins from escaping through a known coastal route off Vedaranyam. It has now been proposed to have 8 checkpoints all along the coast with armed police personnel for intercepting clandestine traffic.

10. The expectation among senior LTTE leaders, including V.Prabhakaran is that public memory is short and after a short while, the LTTE would be in a position to regain their lost grace with the DMK leadership in Tamil Nadu. In order to mend the fences with the Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu, Prabhakaran has also deputed one Natesan, a pro- LTTE political organiser, to visit Tamil Nadu, meet M.Karunanidhi apprise the latter of the developments in Sri Lanka and seek assistance for supply of medicines and permission for the treatment and recuperation of injured LTTE cadres in Tamil Nadu........

During the same period, a significant message was given by the I.B. to the Government of Tamil Nadu which gave a clear indication that there was information that the LTTE were involved in the massacre :-

(Secret Radio message I-1334/60/90-ISDI(B) dated 25.6.90 from Home, New Delhi to Chief Sec.,Home Sec., DGP, Tamil Nadu (Ann. B to Aff. 198/94)

"Shri Ketheeswaran, EPRLF met some officials in the External Affairs Ministry at Delhi recently about the shooting incident in Madras on 19.6.90 in which 14 EPRLF cadres were killed. From his discussions it appears that LTTE cadres were responsible for this incident in view of the style of the operation and use of T-56 Rifles apart from AK-47 Rifles by the assassins. T-56 Rifles according to EPRLF leader were issued by Sri Lankan Army to LTTE. According to Ketheeswaran a splinter group headed by Douglas Devananda cannot be behind this incident inspite of his criminal mentality to commit such a crime because the splinter group of EPRLF led by Douglas Devananda lacks the capability and trained man power to carry out such operation. This is for your kind information and necessary action. "



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