LTTE active in Tamil Nadu: Union Minister

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Chennai, Dec 15: Senior Congress Leader and Union Minister of state for Textiles E V K S Elangovan today alleged that there was spurt in activities of the banned LTTE in Tamil Nadu.

In a chat with newspersons after awarding Diplomas to 20 Sri Lankan journalists who had passed a six-month course from the SRM School of Journalism and Mass Communications here, he cited media reports about the recent arrest of two LTTE members by the ''Q'' Branch police. ''This showed that there has been an increase in the activities of the banned outfit in recent time,'' he added.

Without mentioning any name, Mr Elangovan said a functionary of a particular political party was arrested for his alleged support to the LTTE and was released on bail the same day.

''This is yet another proof of the spurt in LTTE activites,'' he said and alleged that the state government was adopting a soft stand on the outfit.

A Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) functionary Vanniyarasu was arrested by the police recently for his alleged support to the LTTE after he received a parcel containing some materials meant for the banned outfit. He was released on bail by the court the same day.

On VCK, a constituent of the DMK-led DPA in which Congress was also a partner, talking in support of the LTTE, Mr Elangovan said ''LTTE is a banned outfit. Whoever it may be it should not be allowed''. He said the Tamil Nadu Government had banned staging demonstrations and organising rallies in support of the LTTE and it should not be violated.

''If the VCK still continues to violate it, the law will take its own course'', he added.

Referring to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi penning a poem eulogising slain LTTE political wing leader S P Thamilchelvan, Mr Elangovan said the Chief Minister had done it before the ban was imposed.

''I had already raised my objections to it and had also brought to the notice of the AICC'', he said adding that there was no change in the Congress stand on opposing LTTE.

''We will maintain that stand'', he said.

Recalling the Indian Government's appeal to the warring factions, Lankan Government and the LTTE, to come to the negotiating table to arrive at an amicable settlement to the ethnic conflict, the minister urged Sri Lankan Journalists to use their pen effectively to find a peaceful solution.


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