Petrol bombs were hurled at the home of senior Congress leader E.V.K.S. Elangovan at Indira Nagar here on Friday night. Three persons belonging to the ‘Nam Thamizhar Movement’ headed by film director Seeman were arrested in connection with the attack. Director-General of Police K.P. Jain gave their names as Mithran, Mani and Arul.
According to police sources, three bottles filled with petrol exploded at the entrance to the house on 10th Cross Street, causing minor damage to furniture. The former Union Minister was not at home then. His personal assistant, T. Moses, put out the fire and alerted the police.
“At 11.40 p.m. I heard a loud noise. Thinking that it was a transformer blast, I peeped out of the window and saw a huge ball of fire. After extinguishing the flames, I informed the police,” he said.
The incident happened hours after Mr. Elangovan and some party workers allegedly removed posters eulogising slain Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader V. Prabakaran, in Erode on Friday. He is said to have enquired with the local police as to how the posters were allowed to be displayed.
Security guards were posted at Mr. Elangovan’s residence. Joint Commissioner of Police P. Sakthivelu and Deputy Commissioner of Police R. Tirugnanam visited the scene. Bandobust was also enhanced at the home of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee leader K.V. Thangkabalu and the Satyamurthi Bhavan office of the party, the sources added.
Police sources said a vehicle used by the offenders was detained. The suspects were booked under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act. They were produced in a city court and remanded to judicial custody.
“We’re on the lookout for an engineer from Madurai who allegedly masterminded the attack. He spoke against Mr. Elangovan at a meeting held at a marriage hall in K.K. Nagar on Friday. The meeting was convened to honour those who died for Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka,” an officer said.
LTTE cadre observe November 27 as Heroes Day to pay homage to those who died in the Eelam struggle. In Tamil Nadu, permission was given to organise public meetings with some restrictions. In Erode, banners depicting Prabakaran were removed by the police.
Nine persons, including Erode Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam district organiser Kumara Guruparan and Thamizhar Desiya Iyakkam district secretary Mohanraj, were arrested and remanded to judicial custody. At the refugee camp in Gummidipoondi, three Sri Lankan Tamils were arrested for hoisting the LTTE flag and displaying pro-LTTE slogans, the DGP said.
Staff Reporter writes:
In Erode, Mr. Elangovan asked the government to act against those behind the attack. He told journalists that the State was witnessing a spike in the activities of persons with an extremist agenda. He would not be cowed down by such acts, he said, and promised to fight against those working to destroy the peace. He had spoken of the incident to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Home Minister P. Chidambaram.