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Three more held in Tamil Nadu for helping Tigers

The Tamil Nadu State Q Branch police on Sunday arrested three more persons in connection with smuggling of ball bearings, reportedly used by the LTTE to make explosives, to Sri Lanka.

Following the trail of cellphone contacts of Nathan, arrested recently in the same case, Q Branch sleuths on Sunday intercepted Selvaraj, working in a sweet stall in Mumbai for the last 25 years, and seized small packets of ball bearings he had bought as samples.

"Selvaraj did not know about the arrest of Nathan and had come down to strike a deal with him for the sale of ball bearings. We picked him up here with the sample packets,'' Q Branch SP Ashok Kumar said.

He said Selvaraj was in regular contact with Nathan alias Suruli alias Thambidurai Parameshwaran, who worked as the intelligence chief of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu. "We are scrutinising the cellphone contacts of Selvaraj.

We have not got any other leads," he said. Similarly, Madurai Q Branch sleuths zeroed in on Dileepan, another aide to Nathan at the Muthumalai refugee camp. Dileepan, 23, a refugee from Jaffna, was arrested at the refugee camp near Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu.

"Dileepan was also in regular contact with Nathan and a co-conspirator in the smuggling.

With the arrest of Selvaraj and Dileepan, we have arrested all those involved in the ball bearings smuggling," the officer said.

Muthukumar, an ex-service man from Salem was arrested on the Nagapattinam coast, allegedly in possession of four kg of opium, which the police said was worth Indian Rs 10 million.

Muthukumar was trying to smuggle the narcotics into northern Sri Lanka from India, police said.

The Q Branch had arrested Nathan and seven of his aides from their hideout in suburban Madipakkam on January 17. This was hailed as a major achievement in the anti-LTTE drive in the State.

In a follow-up to the arrest of eight LTTE cadres including Nathan alias Suruli in Tamil Nadu, the sleuths of State Intelligence wing have filed a petition at Alandur court seeking one week police custody for interrogating the arrested. And the petition is likely to be taken up for hearing today.

Thambidurai Parameswaran who had been working with LTTE's intelligence section infiltrated into India via Rameswaram last February and later moved to Chennai. Top LTTE cadres in Sri lanka had threatened that they would kill his wife and mother if he failed to supply the required items from India.

Thambidurai along with other cadres-Joseph, Alandin Regan, Kesavan, Ganesh Anand, Aravindan, Kusalaraj, Paris Raj, Suthanan, Akilan alias Padmaraj was living in a rented house in suburban Madipakkam.

The arrests come after the Tamil Nadu police last week began searching for cadres of the LTTE across the state following reports that many have fled to India in view of stepped up military action against the outfit in Sri Lanka.

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