In a major catch, the Q Branch police arrested three persons, belonging to “Thamizhar Viduthalai Padai”, on Tuesday on the charges of having planted pipe bombs at two places – one near Reliance Supermarket on the outskirts of Madurai and another near the residence of Union Minister Narayanaswamy in Puducherry a month ago.

Recently, a fortnight ago, the police had recovered some pamphlets near Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s residence in Sivaganga district.

The names of the accused were given as Thiruselvam (37), a native of Kallal in Sivaganga district, his accomplices Thangaraj alias Tamilarasan (38) and Kaviarasu alias Raja (30) of Melur, Madurai district.

A senior police officer investigating the case said the arrest of Thiruselvam was a “prize catch,” as he was leading the Thamizhar Viduthalai Padai after its founder Rajaram was killed in an encounter in Kotturpuram in 2003.

Apart from Thiruselvam, who was arrested near the four-lane highway, his two accomplices were arrested from the residence of a school headmistress related to them in Melur in Madurai district, police said and added that the headmistress had no knowledge about the duo’s involvement in criminal offences.

Quoting the key suspect Thiruselvam, the officer said, he had reportedly confessed to having planted bombs near Union Minister Mr. Narayanasamy’s residence in Puducherry to show their protest. “The minister was encouraging MNCs to step into retail businesses…Hence, we wanted to mark our condemnation. Similarly, the one-and-half-feet long iron pipe bomb filled with high-intensity explosives were planted near the Reliance Supermarket in Uthangudi, Madurai for the same cause as small and marginal retailers were facing threat of survival,” he had stated.

The officer further said that they came to know during investigation that Thiruselvam had rented a house in the thickly populated Vasuki Nagar, Villapuram in Madurai district. In a quick check on the home, the police team seized five knives (all with blood stains), gelatine sticks, detonators and among other chemicals used for preparing explosives. The police also seized pamphlets from the home and it had come to light that Thiruselvam was here for the last six months.

Wanted for 18 years

A police officer in Sivaganga district said that Thiruselvam was ‘wanted’ in many grave cases and he was absconding for the last 18 years. There were a few NBWs (non-bailable warrants) pending against him. He was fiercely involved in the movement and there is a strong suspicion that there may be many youths involved behind the acts. The trio were being produced before a court.