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 40 to 44

40. Procurement of war material and its smuggling by LTTE from Tamil Nadu | 41. Arrest of Kiruban and other LTTE cadres by Tamil Nadu Police - July 25, 1990 | 42. National Integration Council meet at Madras - Bomb threat - September 22, 1990 | 43. Action taken by Central government of Shri V P Singh in respect of militant activities of LTTE in Tamil Nadu | 44. Evidence of Shri V P Singh

Procurement of War Material and its Smuggling by LTTE from Tamil Nadu

61.1 The LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu extended much beyond treatment of the injured cadres. A major assignment appears to have been undertaken by the LTTE during this period to procure and smuggle material from Tamil Nadu for sustaining their fighting cadres during the war in Sri Lanka. Such effort necessarily required the establishment of an extensive network in the State. LTTE bases were functioning from the hinterland as well as the coastal areas for this purpose. These were linked with well organised wireless communications.

Interrogation of an important LTTE shore operator, 'Menon', by intelligence agencies,(Annexure M-63 (ix) disclosed that the LTTE's shore operations were normally carried out through clandestine wireless communication from the Tiruchy base to ensure unhindered movements and to evade any possible interception by security agencies. During the latter half of 1990 alone Menon carried out at least 40 shore operations involving transportation of explosives, clothing, fuel, medicines and bringing in of gold and fund generation in Tamil Nadu. About 600 Kgs of explosives besides at least 1 lakh litres of fuel for LTTE use was transported in the course of these shore operations. About 55 injured LTTE cadres were also transported during these sailings, besides bringing in able bodied cadres for assignments in Tamil Nadu. Landing points were invariably decided based on sea conditions, security environment, accessibility and advice of Shri M.Karunanidhi and were periodically changed. 13 vehicles were also used in transportation of goods to and from the coast. These vehicles invariably used false number plates and some times even flew DMK party flags to evade interception by security agencies.

The LTTE had further strengthened their wireless network in order to ensure better coordination among its cadres based at various places in Tamil Nadu. During June, 1990, three more wireless sets were installed in Madras to link the hide-outs of Dixon, the LTTE wireless operator, and LTTE operative, Vinod with an LTTE patron's residence.

61.1.1Intelligence reports (Annexure M-92) (DIB UO dated 14.11.90) of the period further elaborate the multifarious activities of the LTTE during the latter half of 1990. By September, 1990, a very large number of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees had already arrived in Tamil Nadu. There were, by this time, about 1.2 lakh refugees in more than 300 camps spread throughout the State.

There was seen a perceptible change in the attitude of the State Government vis a vis the LTTE immediately after the Padmanabha massacre. The State Government had undertaken stringent measures like intensive patrolling of the Coastal line to check LTTE movement.

However, despite the Coastal patrols, clandestine boat movements by LTTE continued to remain a regular feature between coastal points in Tanjore and Pudukottai districts in Tamil Nadu and Jaffna especially in the coastal regions of Vedaranyam- Kodiakkarai and coastal Vizhundamavadi, Velalakanni and Arkattuthurai. The LTTE boats which on their outward journey from Tamil Nadu carried essential supplies for the LTTE brought back gold and electronic items to be disposed in Tamil Nadu for fund generation to aid in arms/ammunition procurement. It was reported that LTTE 'pilot' boats used to ply in between Kodiakkarai and Velankanni and inform the LTTE about Customs and police movements.

There were also reports that the LTTE was receiving explosives from Ranipet near Arakkonam through middlemen based at Madras. LTTE was also suspected to be collecting explosives including landmine caps from Dindigul and Karur areas and transport them from Trichy in hired cars. The explosives were being transported to Jaffna on a weekly basis.

Specific information received during this period indicated a steady flow of LTTE militants in and out of Tamil Nadu. Some instances are as follows :- (Annexures M-93; M-94; M-95; M-96 and M-97)(Cab UO Nos 1/17/90-SLM dated 12.10.90; No 1/17/90-SLM dated 6.11.90; No 1/17/90-SLM dated 13.11.90 and 1/17/90-SLM dated 19.11.90)

-during the second week of September 1990, 12 LTTE cadres alongwith three wounded cadres arrived at Rameswaram from Valaichchenai (Batticaloa district). LTTE cadres also come alongwith refugees as their relatives. On reaching Rameshwaram, the cadres move to other places.

- A senior LTTE cadre, Lawrence Sebastian, who was also involved in negotiations with Sri Lankan Government, came to Tamil Nadu; he was noticed residing at 32, 3rd Cross Street, Thangam Colony, Annanagar, Madras.

About 300-400 LTTE cadres reached Madras during September 1990. Most of these cadres were lodged at Saligramam and Kottivakkam areas.

- Piraisoody - an LTTE activist - once associated with LTTE ship and involved in the mid-sea transshipment of arms and ammunitions, was learnt to be staying at Kottivakkam area of Madras.

- On September 12, LTTE boats, when confronted with customs boats, threatened the officials not to interfere in LTTE activities as the LTTE was engaged with the tacit approval of Tamil Nadu Government. On September 25, one LTTE mini ship, suspected to have come from Singapore, came to mid- sea near Vizhundamavadi and trans-shipped arms and ammunition into for mechanised boats belonging to LTTE.

- LTTE cadres reportedly hired three houses in Madras - Nos. 11, 25 and 33, Lakshmi Nagar Extension, Porur, Madras. 10 LTTE cadres along with their families were also learnt to be staying in Besant Nagar and Tiruvanmiyur areas of Madras.

Tamil Nadu, during this period was also being used by the LTTE as a base to conduct an organised racket of sending Sri Lankan Tamils abroad. The main organiser of this racket , operating from Madras, was one Vamadevan, a former Air Lanka pilot alongwith his assistants Katghnayvadivelu, a Sri Lankan Tamil from Velvettiturai, Thondaman and the brother of Vodivatkarasan, a Colombo based businessman.

These agents were issuing fake Indian passports and visas. They were charging heavy amounts from the persons who were willing to be sent abroad.

An indication of the extensive support base of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu can be seen from the following intelligence report of August, 1990 (Annexure M-98) :-

(Cabinet Sectt.(R&AW) U.O.No.1/17/90-SLM-2837 dated 20.08.90)

"........following are some of the hide-outs of LTTE cadres in Tamilnadu.

i. House No.44, Rani Mankammal Nagar, Extension area, Srirangam.....

ii. Residence of Kutti Mani, a well known smuggler at Vinayaka Nagar, Karimandapam;

iii. House No.D-9, Fort Station Road, Thillainagar, Eastern Extension, Trichy; and

iv. Eighth Cross, Thillainagar, Western Extension, Trichy.

2. ..... following individuals have been assisting LTTE cadres:

i. Pakkirisami(a teacher) and Vaththukkal Vadivelu of Vizhundamavadi(between Velankanni and Vedaranyam and S.P.Thangaiah of Velankanni, all engaged in smuggling..

ii. Dr. Pandian and Dr.Srinivasan give treatment to the injured LTTE cadres at Vedaranyam;

iii. Shanmugam @ N.Jayaraj of Kodiakkarai, smuggler; and

iv. Advocate, Mathuranayagam of Trichy is learnt to be lending active support to the LTTE....

3. The following are some of the vehicles used by the LTTE cadres in Tamilnadu.

i. TSA-2414, a brown Maruti Van;

ii. a white Ambassador (No.TN-72-2455) Car;

iii. A blue Maruti (TN-09-3881) Car; and

iv. Yamaha Motorcycle (Red) bearing registration No.TAY-5676."

The above list gives an illustration of the extent of LTTE infrastructure in Tamil Nadu and the local support which was being extended to the LTTE.

An estimated 30-40 LTTE cadres led by its leaders including Kiruban and Romeo were found to be controlling the LTTE bases in Tamil Nadu. Their activities included revival of fabrication of rifle propelled grenades ARUL-89 at Coimbatore, Pasilan- 2000, purchase of explosives at Tiruchengode, Salem, receiving injured cadres and providing them medical treatment at Madurai, Salem, Erode and Madras and facilitating ferrying of explosives and raw materials for fabrication of weapons, medical supplies, fuel and wearing apparel, from the Tamil Nadu coastal belt in Pudukottai and Tanjore districts to Jaffna.(Annexure M-99) (DIB UO 2/SLC/2229/DDH/90 dated 19.11.90)

The LTTE was also learnt to be operating two wireless communication networks - one at Madras and the other at Tiruchy. The Tiruchy net work also controlled the clandestine LTTE boat movement across Palk Straits. The LTTE office in Madras was mainly being utilised to maintain liaison with prominent DMK party leaders.

Owing to these activities, it was being increasingly perceived that the LTTE had been operating in Tamil Nadu as an independent force outside the ambit of the country's laws; Its operatives in Tamil Nadu had carved out certain sanctuaries for themselves and were functioning as a kind of parallel authority in parts of Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Tiruchirapally districts.

The Central Intelligence agencies had identified 40 well-established landing points, including Tranquebar, point Calimere, Mallipattinam and Vedaranyam, Mimisal (Pudukottai district), Thondi, Soliakudi and Karankadu (Ramanathapuram district).

Besides establishing an extensive wireless network in the State and carving out sanctuaries for themselves, the LTTE activities also included building up of an extensive network of contacts among political and economic segments of society in Tamil Nadu, using methods like bribery, corruption, influence peddling, as also coercion.

The smuggling activities of the LTTE had an influence on the economic activities in the State. Owing to the large scale requirements of the LTTE, a thriving black market flourished with regard to commodities such as diesel, petrol and pharmaceuticals; smuggling of gold into the State went up considerably. This vitiated the economic climate in the State. LTTE funding through extensive 'hawala' transactions reached serious proportions and currency became a major activity on behalf of the LTTE.

Important LTTE cadres supervising the LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu during this period were 'Peria' Santhan, based in Tiruchirapalli; Kiruban, a key LTTE operative who was frequently moving between Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu; and Dixon, the LTTE operative in-charge of Wireless transmission, who was in direct contact with V. Prabhakaran, the LTTE Chief, in Jaffna, and was conveying his instructions to the LTTE cadres based in Tamil Nadu. The role of these LTTE operatives is extremely significant.

It is noteworthy that all these LTTE operatives were later found involved in either the Padmanabha assassination case or in the case relating to the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, or, in both the cases.

Kiruban was found involved and charge sheeted in the Padmanabha assassination case, which is pending trial;

'Peria' Santhan of Tiruchy and Dixon, the wireless operator, were found involved and charge sheeted in both the cases ; since, both committed suicide in two separate incidents while they were on the verge of being arrested, charges abate against them.

The activities of these LTTE operatives and the information collected on them by State and Central Government Agencies with regard to them, therefore, assume great significance, particularly during the period succeeding Padmanabha assassination.

Evidence available before the Commission discloses that all these LTTE operatives were extremely active during this period.

Arrest of Kiruban and Other LTTE Cadres by Tamil Nadu Police: July 25, 1990

62 During this period, it appears that the State Government, while attempting to strike a balance between placating the LTTE and, at the same time, silencing its critics who were demanding an effective crackdown on militant activities, was constrained to pursue an impracticable strategy vis-a-vis Sri Lankan Tamil militancy.

Even before the assassination of Padmanabha, the State Government came under criticism from various political parties as well as various sections of the Indian Government, notably the Indian Army, for inaction against Sri Lankan Tamil militants. After the assassination, there were serious allegations of connivance with the LTTE raised against the State Government. Faced with a situation, where the credibility of the intentions of the Government could only be retrieved by a visible crackdown on militancy, the State Police was instructed to be more vigilant and show some concrete results. This is evident from the evidence of both the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government.

The State Police, which was demoralised and confused, made some attempts to restrain the militant activities of Sri Lankan militants by strengthening their vigil on check posts and picking up Sri Lankan Tamil militants in the hinterland. The police, it appears, took their task seriously at the initial stages, but political undercurrents in favour of the LTTE, which were felt in a more pronounced manner during the episode leading to the arrest of Kiruban, resulted again in a situation where the police operations were rendered ineffective.

Evidence indicates that as far as the LTTE was concerned, DMK leaders, including Shri M. Karunanidhi as well as V. Gopalaswamy, kept assuring them that the preventive measures and the police action, as announced by the Government, would not affect the LTTE operations. It is clear that politicians like V. Gopalaswamy went to the extent of abetting LTTE activities by giving them their vehicles and transporting their cadres in cars flying the DMK flag. At the bureaucratic level, interference by Shri R. Nagarajan, the then Home Secretary, has been disclosed during the investigations in Padmanabha case and he is facing criminal trial as well as departmental action for his acts of omission and commission. The LTTE, it is seen, from its highest level of leadership, put considerable pressure on the DMK leadership in order to ensure that the LTTE activities went on unhindered.

62.1 The arrest of hard core LTTE operative Kiruban and four others on 25th July, 1990, underscores the difficulties encountered by the State Police owing to the attitude of the LTTE and their support by local political parties. (Annexure M-100) ( Fax Msg No 8/SL/90-II dated 7.8.90 from SIB Madras)

On July 25, 1990 at 1330 hrs. five LTTE cadres in a dark brown Maruti van TSA-2414 were stopped by the local police at Rendampulikadu Police Check post, near Pattukottai Police Station, by police. These cadres were Kiruban (22/90), Victor (30/90), Kumar (25/90); Chandran (22/90) and Ravi (21/90). These LTTE cadres resisted the interception and threatened the police that they were on way to pick up injured cadres and had been allowed to visit coastal area with permission granted by Tamilnadu Chief Minister through V. Gopalaswamy.

They were taken to the Pattukottai Police Station. However, the LTTE cadres refused to come out and threatened to consume cyanide if they were forced to alight. They also refused to talk to police officials less than the rank of SP or DIG, who arrived at the spot. Commandos armed with automatic weapons were deployed to face the LTTE cadres. When all negotiations failed, the police prepared for a confrontation. However, about six hours after their interception, the Five LTTE cadres agreed to come out of the Van.

They then demanded to speak to the local DMK Municipal Chairman, S. Viswanathan of Pattukottai - a close friend of V. Gopalasamy as well as to a lawyer; however, the permission was denied. They continued to carry cyanide capsules and threatened to commit suicide. Finally, the DGP and Home Secretary gave telephonic instructions to use force to remove the cyanide lockets from LTTE. After a final warning, the LTTE cadres parted with the cyanide capsules, ten hours after they were intercepted.

A search of the Maruti van led, inter alia, to the seizure of two 9 mm pistols, 50 rounds of ammunition, three 9 mm magazines and a walkie talkie set.

Police suspected that there might be some assailants of EPRLF leader Padmanabha and sent for some locals and Ramnad Police personnel to identify them. They were later arrested and sent for remand on July 26, 1990, to Central Prison, Trichy. A case in Sethubhavachatram PS No.180/90 u/s 147, 148 IPC r/w 25(1) Indian Arms Act: 20(1) Indian Passport Act and 3 (1) Indian Wireless and Telegraph Act was registered against the five LTTE men.

On a bail petition moved in the court of Judicial Magistrate, Pattukottai, the Magistrate granted them bail on Aug 6, 1990, with a condition that they would stay in Mandapam Refugees camp and also present themselves before the court as and when required. The bail petition was learnt to have been moved by one Advocate Viswanathan and one Shanmugasundaram, DMK activist, paid Rs. 10000/- towards the surety amount for the five accused.

However, these accused had been brought Madras Central Jail on Aug 1, 1990, based on a production warrant issued by the XIII Metropolitan Magistrate. The City police filed remand report in order to interrogate them in connection with the investigation of the Padmanabha massacre case.

62.2 Arrest of these LTTE cadres, particularly Kiruban, it appears, upset the LTTE leadership in Jaffna. It has been reported in the contemporaneous field reports of the I.B. that V. Prabhakaran, the LTTE Chief, issued instructions to his emissary, Natesan, who was camping at Delhi asking him to hand over a message to V. Gopalaswamy. (Annexure M-101). (SIB Madras FAx Msg No 352/90 daated 26.7.90). The message, inter alia, stated :-

".... Hand over the following message to V.Gopalasamy and proceed immediately to Madras.

Quote :-

Kiruban had come over there (Tamil Nadu) only to deliver my letter. Hence he is like an emissary. Besides, the responsibility for looking after the injured (LTTE cadres) was reposed in him...... (in the case of Tamil Nadu government) it appears as if they would even arrest me after calling me for talks. How could we trust you and come there any longer? FIRST OF ALL, WE NEED A CORDIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH KALAIGNAR (Karunanidhi) IN TAMIL NADU. You had rounded up our injured cadres and booked them under NSA. We tolerated it. Now you have caught hold of Kiruban through whom I had sent the letter (addressed to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu). I cannot tolerate any further. My relationship with him (Karunanidhi) would depend upon the decision he would take on Kiruban's release in the next two days.


The tenor of the message indicates the equation between the LTTE and DMK. A situation appears to have arisen where the LTTE was in a position to dictate terms and express its displeasure to the political leadership of Tamil Nadu.

The conduct of the LTTE cadres prior to their arrest also indicates their arrogance when faced with the law enforcement authorities of the State. This, perhaps, explains the reluctance and ineffectiveness of the State police machinery to deal firmly with the LTTE militants in the State.

The pressure put by the LTTE on Tamil Nadu political leadership on the issue of detention of Kiruban appears to have led to a situation where the five LTTE cadres were released on conditional bail. It appears that some Official Assistants of some Tamil Nadu Ministers furnished sureties on behalf of these five at the behest of V. Gopalasamy.

The cadres were granted bail on 13th. August, 1990, on the condition that they would report before the investigating officer of the Kodambakkam murder case (DCP, Crime) every day and sign a register. The LTTE operatives, including Kiruban, it is learnt, under instructions from Prabhakaran, did not report as stipulated in the conditions of the bail. After they jumped bail, three cadres - Ravi, Chandran and Victor were subsequently arrested and detained under N.S.A. on 10th August, 1990; however, Kiruban continued to remain free and operate in Tamil Nadu.(Annexure M- 102)

Field Intelligence reports of the IB during the month of September, 1990 (Annexure M-63(xxiv)) (IB report No 38 dated 29.9.90) suggest that the LTTE, with the knowledge and permission of the Home Secretary, Shri Nagarajan, continued to function unhindered at the Mallipattinam coast. With the express knowledge of Shri Nagarajan, the LTTE was also geared to confront any police /CID officials who would attempt to interfere with LTTE activities. It is reported that when the LTTE leaders in Tamil Nadu took up with the Home Secretary the visit of some CID officials to a LTTE hideout in Tiruchi and their demand to disclose the nature of consignments being sent to Sri Lanka and number of cadres who had reached Tamil Nadu, Home Secretary advised the LTTE leaders not to furnish any details and turn out any CID officials visiting their hideouts.

It was also reported that some LTTE leaders approached the Home Secretary and sought permission for using the Mallipattinam coast for operating their clandestine boat movements. The Home Secretary acceded to the request and cleared their operations.(Annexure M-63(xxv)(IB report No 39 dated 29.9.90)

These intelligence reports appear to be in conformity with the actual events which were occurring at that time; they paint a very disturbing picture of the manner in which the State Administration was functioning during this period. Interrogation of the five arrested LTTE operatives, including Kiruban, led to the revelation of the extent of LTTE activities in the State of Tamil Nadu. Interrogations disclosed that during this period, funds were generated by LTTE in Tamil Nadu through sale of gold brought into Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka and hawala transactions.

The sale of gold smuggled into Tamil Nadu between June- December, 1990, alone fetched the LTTE an estimated Rs. 1 crore 44 lakhs, while input from hawala transactions accounted for an estimated Rs. 1 crore 31 lakhs. Of the proceeds generated in Tamil Nadu, during the latter half of 1990, approximately Rs. 94.92 lakhs is known to have been despatched to Bangkok for effecting various arms and explosives, spares for fabrication of parts required for Arul- 89 and Pasilan 2000, and treatment of injured cadres. About Rs.9 lakhs was spent for procuring false travel documents and Rs. 50 lakhs for procurement of medicine for despatch to Jaffna coast.(Annexure M-63 (xxiv)

National Integration Council Meet At Madras-Bomb Threat:: September 22, 1990

A meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) was held in Madras on 22nd. September, 1990. The meeting was attended by national leaders of all the prominent political parties. The participants included the Prime Minister Shri V.P. Singh, former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Shri Chandrashekhar and others.

Before the meeting begun, at the venue of the meet, Fort St. George, Madras, a sophisticated explosive device with a timer was discovered. The bomb was defused and investigations taken up. Investigations conducted by the Tamil Nadu police led to the identification of a pro LTTE chauvinist Tamil militant group called 'Tamil Pasarai' whose members were found involved in this attempt.

The incident and the consequent investigation has been narrated by Shri P.C. Pant, Additional Director General of Police, in his affidavit no. 115/93- JCI, submitted before the Commission. The details of the incident, as narrated in the affidavit are :-

3. "......(Tamil Pasarai) planted an electronic timer device bomb at the Secretariat on 22.9.90 where the National Integration Council meeting was scheduled to be held that day. The bomb was recovered before its explosion by the Police. Hand written posters brought out by Tamilar Pasarai containing slogans against National Integration, projecting the sufferings of Tamil in Central schools and demanding to drop action against LTTE were found near the place where the bomb was placed....."

Subsequent investigations conducted by the special State police team (TANSIT) after the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi led to the arrest of several important members of 'Tamil Pasarai'. It was revealed that this group of Indian Tamil chauvinists was formed in 1989 by a group of pro LTTE youth who were assisting the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. Later, the cadres of 'Tamil Pasarai' were taken to Sri Lanka and given arms training etc. The key members of Tamil Pasarai were arrested and interrogated.

A typical example of downplaying the incident is seen from the affidavit filed by Shri R. Nagarajan (Affidavit no. 85/93-JCI. While describing the events of the period, Shri Nagarajan has narrated the NIC meet, but conveniently omitted to mention this incident. However, when confronted with this incident during his deposition, he stated :-

Deposition of Shri R.Nagarajan dt. 16-9-96

"There was NDC meeting at the Secretariat, Fort St.George, on 22nd September 1990. ... We were all there to receive the P.M. Sh.V.P. Singh at the airport. By the time the DIG told that during routine check they had identified a stuff, suspected to be a bomb, not exactly at the bottom of the building but at the entrance. Immediately the Squad was called and the Squad scotched that stuff. It was a mischief done by some extremists. Then investigation went on. There was no conclusive proof that was a bomb which could be capable of damaging a building nor the persons who planted it and the police seized one pamphlet there. It showed the name of local Extremist Tamil Movement Orgn. It was by a Tamil Separate Movement. The pamphlet showed the name Tamil Nadu Viduthalai Padai (Tamil Nadu Liberation Army)...."

Detailed activities of this group have been dealt with later in this chapter.

Action Taken by Central Government of Shri V.P. Singh in Respect of Militant Activities of LTTE in Tamil Nadu

63 While during the first part of 1990, considerable correspondence between the Central Government and the State Government is evidenced with regard to growing LTTE activities in the State, it appears that during the latter part of 1990, the Central Government headed by Shri V.P. Singh did not seriously pursue the matter with the State Government. Though the President of India had, himself, expressed concern about the happenings in Tamil Nadu in June, 1990, it appears, that Shri V.P. Singh did not take up the matter strongly with the State Government. During the period, only one message is available from the Central Government to the State Government which suggests the measures which the State Government could undertake to bring the situation under control. This message, (Annexure M-103) (affidavit no. 214/94-JCI; F-a) is dated 3rd. September, 1990, and requests the Government of Tamil Nadu to consider :-

"(a)better coordination among Police, Custom, Coastal Guard and ITBP.... This can be achieved through constitution of Committee comprising of various agencies at Nagapattinam and Rameswaram.......

(b)Deployment of CRPF units ... Battalion at Nagapattinam....and the other battalion ....... Rameswaram...

(c) Steps may be taken to discourage purchase of medicine and essential commodity by LTTE...."

The Government of Tamil Nadu replied to this message on 30th November, 1990 - almost three months later, (Annexure M-104) inter alia, stating that State level Coordination Committee meetings were already being held on a quarterly basis; Tamil Nadu Special Police, armed with AK-47 rifles were already manning the check posts.

Interestingly, with regard to the suggestion that the LTTE be discouraged to purchase essential commodities and smuggle them to Sri Lanka, it was stated that :-

"....Regarding ... purchase of medicine and essential commodities by L.T.T.E., C.M. of Tamil Nadu will discuss this subject with Prime Minister when he calls on him on third December, 1990."

The above interaction between the Central and the State Government betrays a lackadaisical attitude on the part of both the Union Government as well as the State Government of the period.

Evidence of Shri V.P. Singh

63.1 Shri V.P. Singh, in his statement before the Commission, elaborated establishment of social network by Tamil militant groups particularly the LTTE in the Tamil population of Tamil Nadu. He deposed that "after the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement, refugees from Sri Lanka did go back but out of 1,40,000 refugees, one lakh remained and only 40,000 refugees had gone back. This was the inherited position. There were several militant groups. They would come in conflict with each other and also commit small crimes which led to the deterioration of law and order and also because, earlier, camps were allowed in Tamil Nadu. Positive support was given to the various militant groups. The network established in Tamil population could give them effective cover against the Government action.

He further deposed that the Indian territory was used as launching pad since 1989. This is the period when Shri Rajiv Gandhi was in power. IPKF was in conflict with the LTTE. This was the situation which the National Front Government inherited when it came to power in December, 1989. It was a case of one full year of LTTE activities within Sri Lanka and within Tamil Nadu during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure that the National Front Government had inherited. Regarding the allegation of LTTE cadres gaining access in interior places in the State of Tamil Nadu, the various land routes, amounting to as many as 40 places in coastal areas of Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram districts and boats being used for bringing cadres, he stated that this was not a new territory for the LTTE.

They were trained in Tamil Nadu for several years in various camps all over Tamil Nadu since the regimes of Shri Rajiv Gandhi and Smt. Indira Gandhi. They knew the interior places and also the land routes. There were genuine difficulties of clearing areas within short period. Medicines and clothings were being sent to Jaffna as there was sympathy for the Tamil population. Public response in the form of medicines and clothings to the injured cannot be ruled out. Reports regarding smuggling and other activities generally would come. From the Order of the Nag Tribunal, it is clear that such activities have been continuing in three governments - Rajiv Gandhi Government, National Front Government and the Chandra Shekhar Government". He further deposed that "during Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao Government as well, these continued".

From the above statement of Shri V.P. Singh, it would appear that growth of militancy has a history of more than a decade and the militants, particularly the LTTE, had developed their contacts, relations, alliances and liaisons in all walks of life of Tamil population, particularly the political leadership, State and Police machinery and clearing the soil of Tamil Nadu of such elements was an uphill task. Still, as deposed by him, the Central Government made all efforts and from time to time the line of action was decided to be taken by the Centre and to be implemented by the State Government.

When specific incidents and events which have taken place during his tenure as Prime Minister were referred to him, Shri V.P. Singh's general answer was that he would need reference to records. Pattinam- Kathan shoot-out, Padmanabha massacre and other events were referred to him and his reply generally was that he would need reference to records for details. So far as the Padmanabha killing is concerned, Shri V.P. Singh came out with his own comments on the I.B. reports and he expressed that the view of the political leadership at that time was for a strong action and so far as slackness on the part of police is concerned, he mentioned that it has to be found out at what level it was so.

Though fault was found with the police, and according to Shri V.P. Singh, it was at the lower level. When a question regarding law and order situation and breaches on the part of the LTTE were put to him, Shri V.P. Singh replied, "In such matters there can never be 100 per cent satisfaction because situations were also being faced in J&K, Punjab and Assam which did worry the Central Government. So far as the impression I got about the political leadership, I was convinced that it was not at all in favour of Tamil militants carrying on their activities in Tamil Nadu. However, at operational level, there was need always of sustained effort not only in Tamil Nadu but also in other parts of the country".

When he was put a specific question regarding support to the LTTE by the DMK Government, he stated, "he does not remember any intelligence report which was presented to him that make any such allegation of active involvement of the DMK Government. If there are reports to that effect, that is a matter of record".

Shri V.P. Singh on 5.11.1996 deposed, "while all moral support was being given to the militants and also weapons were being given and camps being spread all over Tamil Nadu, the militant groups spread a wide network of social contact with the people of Tamil Nadu with a background that there is an ethnic closeness between Tamils of Sri Lanka and that of Tamil Nadu. This bondage between various groups and various sections of people of Tamil Nadu became very strong during the Congress regimes. Also weapons were given to all the groups.

Conflicts between various groups started taking place in our country. If you see the reports and petty crimes like smuggling and shoot- out and other harassment to people here and there, largely they were from the non-LTTE groups, though later on LTTE groups also started indulging in these activities. Just by a switch-over of the Government it is not so easy to wash away all the background that it inherited. That was the challenge we had. Regarding linkages of LTTE and DMK, there were no intelligence reports regarding any of their connections which were clandestine or against the national policy".

After referring to various steps taken for curbing militant activities, Shri V.P. Singh further deposed, "So, it is very clear that so far as sincerity of efforts was concerned, there was no stone unturned by the Central Government and in our assessment the State Government cooperated".

In answer to a question by Shri R.N. Mittal on 12.11.1996, Shri V.P. Singh deposed, "the insinuation in the question is denied that the Central Government or the DMK Government promoted the LTTE clandestinely or with ulterior motive to create an atmosphere for the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi". For other references made in the question, Shri V.P. Singh stated, "for other references which have been made in the question, I would need reference to record".

The other references in the question related to abduction of the Customs personnel in December, 1989, Pattinam- kathan shoot-out in February, 1990, Padmanabha massacre in June, 1990, detection of arms factory, complaint of Navy, training by LTTE, increased smuggling by LTTE, ULFA links with the LTTE, some accused being common in the Padmanabha and Rajiv Gandhi killing and shelter being given to some common killers.

It is true that on account of ethnic riots in Sri Lanka since 1981 and more particularly the horrendous atrocities committed against the Tamil population in the ethnic riots of 1983, there was large scale exodus of Tamil population from Sri Lanka coming to Indian shores. Sri Lankan militant groups also arrived in Tamil Nadu. In order to help the Sri Lankan Tamils, not only they were given shelter but they were also trained and armed so that they may defend themselves. But in course of time, the various Tamil militant groups indulged in internecine conflicts.

By then, the Tamil Nadu's civilian population remained unaffected, in the sense that they were not the targets or militant groups were not coming in conflict with the State apparatus. There was no doubt support even at the political level in Tamil Nadu but it had not affected the general law and order situation in Tamil Nadu and it has been said that they were under the firm control of the then Chief Minister Shri M.G. Ramachandran. Shri V. P. Singh is right when he states that each successive Government inherited the legacy of militancy. But the main question which has arisen for consideration is, which Government helped to what extent and in whose support and was there any tacit support to a particular group for indulging in all sorts of objectionable activities which may even go to the extent of being anti-national character.

Shri V.P. Singh has deposed before the Commission about the impression of DMK leadership during his tenure as Prime Minister. That impression was formed by him on the basis of, how matters were represented to him by the DMK Government. It is true that intelligence reports were not shown to him and even D.I.B.'s U.O. Notes which have gone to the Prime Minister's Office and to the Cabinet Secretary were not shown to him during his deposition. But those reports and notes must have come to his notice as Prime Minister.

There is a DIB U.O. No.1(14)/89(11)-2699 dated 26.6.1989 by Shri M.K. Narayanan, Director, I.B. on the subject "Tamil Nadu - Spurt in LTTE Activities".

It records "how after reneging of commitments made at the time of signing of the Accord, the LTTE has consistently tried to create a constituency for itself in Tamil Nadu. Following the assumption of power by the DMK in Tamil Nadu in January, 1989, the LTTE established connections with the new leadership. A major effort was directed to gain their confidence so as to revive the activities in Tamil Nadu.

There has been considerable spurt in the activities of the LTTE during the past six months. Tamil Nadu has, in a sense, become a clandestine rear base for the LTTE. Para 2 of this report indicates that the DMK appears to be anxious not to get the displeasure of the Central Government by pursuing a policy of open/total support to the LTTE but at the same time, it has been careful not to give up its links with the LTTE. Consequently, DMK Ministers, other party functionaries and State Government officials have been extending covert and not so covert support and patronage to the LTTE.

The LTTE elements have also been in contact with the Chief Minister. It also mentions that DMK Minister Smt. Subbulakshmi Jagdeesan and DMK MPs N.V.N. Somu and V. Gopalaswamy have been frequently seen contacting the LTTE members but LTTE believed that it is Murasoli Maran, M.P., D.M.K. who is mainly orchestrating various moves on behalf of the DMK Administration.

There is another report I.B. U.O. No. 1(14)/89(11)- 194 dated 27.12.1989 by Shri M.K. Narayanan, Director, I.B. on the subject "Tamil Nadu - Activities of Sri Lankan Tamil Groups". This report mentions about the connivance of DMK Government in para 4, as "further, they appear to have overcome some of their earlier inhibitions regarding DMK and have succeeded to an extent in building a rapport with the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu since it came to power in January, 1989."

There is another report by Director, I.B., U.O. No.1(14)/90(11) dated 8.5.1990 on the subject "Sri Lankan Tamil Affair - Current Developments". It is a detailed report on LTTE activities. It mentions how police is ineffective and how Customs authorities have been rendered ineffective and how inhabitants of the coastal belt have been terrorised.

The above reports have been sent to the senior functionaries of the Government and must have come to the notice of Shri V.P. Singh.

If the I.B. reports of the period are looked into, they would clearly present a picture of the connivance of the DMK Government in the LTTE activities surfacing on the soil of Tamil Nadu. Shri V.P. Singh had left the matter to record and so the matter is required to be examined in the light of the record and not only in the light of the record but also in the light of other credible evidence which has come before the Commission.

From the statement of Shri V.P. Singh and also from the efforts which have been made by the Central Government during his time, it can be said that the Central Government was having a firm policy that there should be no growth of militancy on the soil of Tamil Nadu. Whatever assistance in any form needed by the State Government was provided to the State Government. Patrolling on the coast by the Coast Guard and by the Navy was ordered and other forms of assistance in the nature of training in sophisticated weapons and supplying arms was also rendered.

But the question is whether the Central Government saw to it or not that the steps decided to be taken, have been implemented and proved to be successful. What was the ground reality? Whether that ground reality came to the notice of the Central Government, including the Prime Minister? How and in what manner a helping hand was extended by Shri M. Karunanidhi and his Government, are all matters of record and such record which has been brought to the notice of the Central Government cannot be ignored. It was expected from Shri V.P. Singh to be very categorical about the ground reality brought to his notice by the reports. But it seems that he has deliberately left the matter to record in order to be more safe. It cannot be lost sight of that the DMK was a partner of the National Front Government. This may be the obvious reason.

There are plenty of I.B. reports which expressly make mention of Shri M. Karunanidhi's actual line of action in relation to the LTTE. No doubt, the initial dialogue with the militant groups was on account of the mandate of Shri V.P. Singh but the I.B. reports point out continued meetings of LTTE leaders with Shri M. Karunanidhi and the support which was sought by them. The other groups felt marginalised. The veracity of the intelligence reports during the period of Shri V.P. Singh has not in any way been disputed or challenged by Shri V.P. Singh. They stand as they are. The perusal of these reports read along with other evidence would amply establish that the ground reality was different from the impression which Shri V.P. Singh had, about connivance of the DMK Government. A conspectus or an overall view is required to be taken.

The sole testimony of Kasi Anandan demolishes the view about the DMK-LTTE nexus and support as stated by Shri V.P. Singh, Shri M. Karunanidhi and Shri Jaffer Ali when he deposes that the LTTE had a free and undisturbed boat movement and the relations with Shri Karunanidhi and his Government and the State machinery were friendly. Intelligence reports and the correspondence between high Constitutional functionaries and senior bureaucrats of the Central and Tamil Nadu Governments further support it.

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