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Cash, crude arms seized from offices of 2 political parties in Tamil Nadu

The raid at 20 locations were carried out in connection with the February 5 murder of PMK functionary, Ramalingam, by suspected Islamic radicals for opposing religious preaching in a Dalit enclave at Thirubuvanam near Kumbakonam in Thajavur district, an NIA release said.

india Updated: May 02, 2019 23:20 IST
MC Rajan
MC Rajan
Chennai
cash,crude arms,tamil nadu
Cash, crude arms seized from offices of 2 political parties in Tamil Nadu. (Representative Image)(HT Photo)

In a massive operation, the National Investigating Agency on Thursday seized cash, crude weapons, laptops and hard disks as well as incriminating documents, from the office premises of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) across Tamil Nadu.

The raid at 20 locations were carried out in connection with the February 5 murder of PMK functionary, Ramalingam, by suspected Islamic radicals for opposing religious preaching in a Dalit enclave at Thirubuvanam near Kumbakonam in Thajavur district, an NIA release said.

“During the searches, a number of digital devices including 16 mobile phones, 21 SIMN cards, 3 laptops, 9 hard disks, 7 memory cards, 118 CDs/DVDs, 1 Tab, 7 memory cards, 7 diaries, 2 PFI Banners, I DVR were seized,” the release listed. Further, seizures included a sword, a knife and cash Rs 2 lakh besides 100 incriminating documents.

According to the NIA, these were recovered from three different houses which were searched since the morning.

The NIA had taken over the investigation into the case recently from the state police.

A catering contractor, Ramalingam (42), was waylaid and hacked to death at night while returning home on February 5, a day after a video of him countering a few members of an Islamic group engaged in preaching at a Dalit colony, started circulating.

It was a well planned conspiracy, the NIA says adding that Ramalingam, returning in his minivan was waylaid and attacked with lethal weapons like billhook and both his hands were chopped off. He died on the way to the hospital due to excessive bleeding.

The Thiruvidaimaruthur police have registered a case and arrested 10 people while six others wanted in the case are absconding. All the accused are either active members or office-bearers of the PFI. They include, Rahman Sadiq, an administrator of masjid activities in the district and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, district secretary of PFI.

According to the FIR, the murder was carried out to avenge those defaming and opposing Islam.

The NIA raids come close on the heels of the deadly Easter day bombings in Sri Lanka, which have cast a shadow on the radical Islamic outfits in the state. Though no conclusive evidence has surfaced, clouds of suspicion persist about the radical Islamic outfits with the fundamentalist group linked to the Lankan bombings.

Teams of NIA sleuths, led by Inspector General Alok Verma have carried out the raids at Kumbakonam, Karaikal, Thanjavur, Trichy among other places. Apart from the PFI and SDPI offices, the residence of a Muslim cleric of Thirubhuvanam, an absconding accused, was also searched.

The NIA is looking at unravelling the murder conspiracy, funding, execution, the execution team and gathering material, scientific and digital evidence.

The Tamil Nadu police which registered a case, have arrested 11 people and the accused include, Rahman Sadiq, an administrator of masjid activities in the district and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, District Secretary of PFI.

SDPI president Dhehlan Baqavi is the candidate from the Chennai Central Lok Sabha constituency as an ally of TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazagam (AMMK). Neither SDPI nor PFI could be reached for their reaction over the phone.

Meanwhile, a lower court has remanded to custody Dhanuka Roshan, the Sri Lankan national arrested on Wednesday. Roshan was arrested following an NIA raid on a gated community near Poonamalee, on the outskirts of Chennai.

First Published: May 02, 2019 23:20 IST