|Tuesday, 16 April 2002|
LTTE supporters in TN active again
CHENNAI: With Tamil Tiger guerrillas playing a high-profile role in Sri Lanka, their supporters are becoming more active in Tamil Nadu. On Saturday, the Indian Navy arrested a fisherman from a village in Ramanathapuram district, about 700 km south of here, with RDX explosives and as many as 1,500 pro-LTTE videocassettes.
Most cassettes contained songs praising Velupillai Prabhakaran, who heads the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and is wanted in India for the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Commander R.K. Chakravarty of the Indian Navy's Rameswaram detachment said the seizures were made after a mechanized boat moving speedily towards Sri Lankan waters was chased and caught.
One of the men aboard the boat was arrested. Three other men jumped into the sea and escaped.
The police here had earlier arrested a man with 1,200 booklets glorifying the LTTE and Prabhakaran. The books were found at a house at Chetpet, hidden beneath other publications. They were to be sent to France, the police said. A case of sedition has been registered against him.
Meanwhile, sympathisers of the LTTE, at a meeting here Saturday night, dared Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha to arrest them under an anti-terror law.
A pro-LTTE website has urged Tamil nationalist groups in India and elsewhere to organize "resurgent" campaigns against Jayalalitha and leading journalists like Cho Ramaswamy and N. Ram, both of whom are anti-LTTE.
Tamil nationalist leader P. Nedumaran, speaking to a large gathering of Prabhakaran supporters here, said: "I am not afraid of being arrested."
He alleged that a man who published a book on Prabhakaran 10 years ago had been arrested in Chennai for organizing a meting of Tamil nationalist supporters.
Thundered Nedumaran: "Prabhakaran is not a terrorist but a freedom fighter." (Courtesy: The Economic Times)
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