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Explosive procurements of LTTE had a Kerala connection, says Tamil Nadu Police

By Walter Jayawardhana

TAMIL NADU POLICE INVESTIGATIONS REVEAL TAMIL TIGERS SELECTED KERALA FOR PROCUREMENT FOR EXPLOSIVES

The Tamil Nadu Police has traced some of the arms procurement activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to the adjacent state of Kerala.

They have identified the kingpin of the LTTE procurement activities in Kerala as a man called Ibrahim Kutty, an explosive dealer.

The attempts made by the Police to arrest Ibrahim Kutti have so far failed according to reports of the Q Branch of the Tamil Nadu Police who are in charge of this investigation.

Kutti, who is selling explosives from the Kerala town of Kozhikode, according to the information gathered by the Q Branch, has sold several consignments of explosives to the Tamil Tigers clandestine network in Tamil Nadu, it was recently revealed.

According to the investigations most of these explosives have been brought to the Tamil Nadu town of Ramanathapuram or Madurai and from there had been smuggled out to Sri Lanka. The Q Branch of the Tamil Nadu police recently arrested members of a gang, including C. Dhinakaran, an LTTE sympathiser hailing from Irumeni near Uchipuli in Ramanthapuram in this connection .

The Q Branch investigators recently revealed that the LTTE arms procurement agents selected the Kerala towns of Kozhikode and Malappuram for procuring boosters, detonators and gelatine sticks as they consider these districts `safe’. But according to the data so far revealed to the Q Branch further investigations are possible only if Ibrahim Kutti is available since he only knew all agents of the LTTE.

Although the Kerala Police has cooperated with the Q Branch every time the Tamil Nadu detectives reached Ibrahim Kutti’s several hideouts he managed to escape, the Q Branch sources said.

According to information released by the Tamil Nadu Police, they keep a close eye on explosive dealers in Madurai, Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Nagapattinam, Tiruchi and Ramanathapuram districts and that might have been the reason the LTTE moved out to the adjacent state of kerala.

The smuggling of arms and explosives to Sri Lanka came to the attention of the Q Branch when a vehicle carrying boosters met with an accident at Manamadurai on November 29, last year.

Meanwhile issuing a statement on the arms procurement activities of the LTTE, Sri Lanka’s Amabssador for the United States, Bernard Goonetileke said, “The recent activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers, portray their desperation to replenish fast-dwindling stocks of weapons and ammunition.”

The statement also highlighted the arms carrying ship destroyed by the Sri Lanka Navy off Dondra head, February 28, off the Southern coast of Sri Lanka.

But unlike the ship that was destroyed that contained arms, the Kerala connected network of the LTTE was smuggling bomb making material from the Tamil Nadu port of Rameshwaram and other ports to the LTTE controlled areas in Sri Lanka.

The Washington statement further said, “On September 18, 2006, the Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force sank another LTTE ship carrying large quantities of weapons and ammunition off Kalmunai seas in the Eastern Province. The ship sailing without a flag, and detected by the Navy, had ignored the warning shots fired by the Navy to stop and identify. Fifteen Tamil Tigers on board perished with the ship.

“In recent months, the Sri Lanka and Indian security forces have intercepted many vessels carrying arms and ammunition for the LTTE from South India. In the first week of November 2006, Tamil Nadu police seized a lathe machine used for making mortar shells, attached to a fishing boat. On December 5 and 11, 2006, fishermen in Rameswaram, South India, found live rockets in their fishing nets. On January 24, 2007, Tamil Nadu police arrested eight people including five Sri Lankan Tamils trying to transport two tons of ball-bearings from Chennai to Sri Lanka. Ball-bearings are used to make bombs and claymore mines.”

The Washington statement argued, “These incidents portray the Tamil Tigers’ capability of transporting weapons and ammunition despite the vigilance of the international community.”

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March 5, 2007 - Posted by | News and politics

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