NIA digs deeper as Pakistan looks to help revival of LTTE in Tamil Nadu
The agencies learnt that money lying in the accounts linked to the LTTE remained untouched for long, but now attempts are being made to withdraw the same and use it for the revival of the outfit.
New Delhi, Aug 09: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) last week conducted searches at the residence of one C Gunashekaran at Chengalpattu district in Tamil Nadu.
The NIA said in a note that the case on hand pertains to the Sri Lankan drug mafia. The said mafia is controlled by Gunashekaran who in association with Haji Salim, an arms and drugs supplier based in Pakistan, has been operating in India and Sri Lanka.
The agency further pointed out that these operatives are dealing in illegal drugs and arms for the revival of the LTTE in India and Sri Lanka.
A high alert had been sounded in February this year after the Intelligence Bureau warned that attempts were being made to revive the LTTE. This was also followed by a case by the NIA which booked three people in connection with a fake passport case.
An Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia that attempts to revive the LTTE are being made with the help of Pakistan-based operatives. Pakistan has in the past used its High Commission in Sri Lanka to spread the activities of the ISI in south India. This module was, however, busted by the NIA, following which they are using the turmoil in Sri Lanka to revive an LTTE module which could cause trouble both in the island nation as well as south India.
The NIA also found that some of the former operatives of the LTTE based in Europe were trying to withdraw money and use it to revive the outfit. Former operatives based out of Denmark and Switzerland were trying to withdraw money to fund the activities of the now defunct outfit. Sources say that in the past couple of years, these former operatives had funded webinars to speak about the importance of the revival of the LTTE. The targeted public are in the rural areas of Tamil Nadu and these NGOs arranging these webinars had tried to convince the people that the rise of the LTTE is directly linked to Tamil nationalism.
During the probe, the agencies learnt that the money lying in the accounts linked to the LTTE went into several crores of rupees. It remain untouched for long, but now attempts are being made to withdraw the same and use it for the revival of the outfit.
The case came to light following the arrest of a Sri Lankan national, Letchumanan Mary Franciska (50) from the Chennai Airport. The police said that the arrest was made as she was holding a fake Indian passport.
The lady had entered India in December 2019 on a tourist visa which was valid for one year. Citing the outbreak of COVID-19 she stayed back in India. She then took a house on rent at the Shakthi Colony in Anna Nagar. She got a rental agreement made and hid her nationality, which she went to use to get an LPG connection in her name.
Using the LPG connection, she got herself an Indian passport and a voter ID as well. She was arrested based on a tip-off when she was trying to fly into Bengaluru. The case was transferred to the NIA when the probe against her revealed that she was in touch with the then active cadres of the LTTE.
The case was handed over to the NIA taking into consideration the larger conspiracy and the international ramifications as well. Along with her four other persons, Kenniston Fernando, K Baskaran, Johnson Samuel and L Sellamuthu came under the scanner of the NIA.
The development came in the wake of another arrest that took place last October. On Sabsena, a former Intelligence officer of the LTTE was arrested inn connection with an arms smuggling racket.
Officials say that these persons were playing an active role in trying to revive the activities of the LTTE. The NIA in its FIR said that the accused persons had withdrawn money from the Indian Overseas Bank's Mumbai Fort branch. The money was being withdrawn to revive and further the activities of the LTTE.
An Intelligence Bureau official said that since the fall of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the outfit had gone quiet.
However over the past two to three years there have been signals of them trying to make a revival.
They are trying to make their case in Tamil Nadu and spread their message especially under the youth. The LTTE feels that they will be able to get the desired traction in Tamil Nadu which they may use to relaunch their outfit in Sri Lanka.