Thirty years after LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran and rival Uma Maheswaran exchanged fire at Pondy Bazaar, a city court has formally dropped charges against the Tamil Tiger supremo on the grounds that he is dead.

While Prabhakaran was killed in military operations in May 2009, Uma Maheswaran was assassinated in Colombo in 1989.

On May 19, 1982, Prabhakaran, accompanied by C. Raghavan alias Sivakumar, an LTTE member, found himself suddenly face-to-face with Mukundan alias Uma Maheswaran and his aide Jotheeswaran. Uma Maheswaran, formerly chairman of LTTE, had broken ranks with Prabhakaran and founded another militant group – the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE).

An exchange of fire followed, and Jotheeswaran suffered bullet injuries on both his thighs, while Uma Maheswaran escaped unhurt.

A Deputy Inspector of Mambalam Police station rushed to the spot with his colleagues and the police party overpowered them and seized the revolvers.

The police arrested Prabhakaran and Raghavan on the same day. But Uma Maheswaran was arrested after six days. They were granted conditional bail in the case. The case has been pending on the file of an Additional Sessions Court since then.

Recently, the CBCID police filed a petition stating that Prabhakaran was dead.

It also submitted a report from Interpol about his death in May 2009.

Perusing the petition filed by CBCID, VI Additional Sessions Judge N. Kaliamurthy said, “Accused Non-bailable warrant pending. The charge against A-1 (V. Prabhakaran) abates.”

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