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Friday, March 9, 2007 : 1700 Hrs


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    Crackdown against LTTE supporters: 41 arrested so far

    Chennai, March 9 (PTI): In its crackdown against LTTE supporters in the state, the Tamil Nadu Police have so far arrested 41 persons, including 16 Sri Lankans, Director General of Police D Mukherjee said here today.

    In a press release,he said security arrangements in coastal districts have been stepped up in co-ordination with the Navy, Coast Guard and Intelligence Bureau,to prevent infiltration of Sri Lankan Tamil militants and also to stop their supporters from indulging in 'unlawful activities' like smuggling of explosives and arms for the LTTE.

    "The Tamil Nadu government has instructed the police to step up vigil and take stringent action against those attempting to smuggle explosives and arms to LTTE and extending support to LTTE," he said.

    Giving details, he said a Sri Lankan Tamil was arrested in Tiruchirapalli on March 6 and Rs 10 lakh seized from him. Based on information given by him, another Sri Lankan Tamil was arrested. His questioning led to the seizure of 150 bags of iron balls, weighing 4,500 Kg from Permanalur.

    Two other Sri Lankan Tamils were subsequently arrested at Chennai, as also another Indian who provided Rs 17.66 lakh of 'hawala' money. Another person was arrested at Pudukottai yesterday, Mukherjee said.

    Listing steps taken from November 29 last, he said 750 Kg of explosives, about to be smuggled to Sri Lanka from Kerala, were seized that day. Four persons, including one who was absconding for the past 18 months, were arrested.

    Mukherjee said police conducted surprise raids in Chennai and Tuticorin on january 23 and seized 7.5 tonnes of iron balls meant for being smuggled to Sri Lanka. Twelve persons, including five Sri Lankans, were arrested.

    Again on Feb 12, the Navy seized 92 bags of aluminium bars near Dhanushkodi. During the course of the investigation, 11 persons were arrested and 1.5 kg of aluminium bars seized.

    The next day, the Coast Guard seized a boat carrying explosives off the Palk Straits. Five persons including four Sri Lankans were arrested. The boat was later destroyed in mid sea.

    On February 14, the Navy seized a country boat carrying explosives and aluminium bars and arrested three Sri Lankans.

    The DGP said 10 of those arrested had been detained under the NSA (National Security Act).

    He warned of stern action against political parties and organisations extending direct or indirect help to LTTE.


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