TAMIL NADU

7 detained under NSA provisions

K.T. Sangameswaran

Detonators case likely to go `Q' Branch Detonators case likely to go `Q' Branch

CHENNAI: As part of the stringent action against those involved in the case relating to the recent seizure of iron balls at Perambalur, seven persons, including four Sri Lankans, were on Thursday detained under the NSA.

A hunt is on to locate two more persons, including a Sri Lankan, who are likely to provide more information about the gang's activity, a senior police officer told The Hindu .

The police said the case relating to the seizure of nearly 1900 detonators from a palm grove at Irumeni, near Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district on March 28, was also likely to be transferred to the `Q' Branch.

The names of the NSA detainees were given as Arulseelan, Prateepan, Bhagirathan and Rahulan, all Sri Lankans, and Idayathullah and Seema Basheer, both belonging to Mannady, and Raju of Rameswaram.

Two absconding

The police have spread their dragnet for Satish, a Sri Lankan, and his friend Jayaraman of Tamil Nadu. They believe Satish is in Sri Lanka.

Investigation conducted so far did not reveal any link between the gang busted in the Perambalur case and the one involved in the attempt to smuggle a similar consignment to Sri Lanka, whose members were nabbed in Chennai and Tuticorin in January this year.

In the Perambalur case, Arulseelan was arrested in Tiruchirappalli. Based on the information provided by him, Rahulan was arrested and 4.5 tonnes of iron balls were seized from the house of Ramesh Kumar at Perambalur. It is now known that Ramesh Kumar, who surrendered before a Chennai magistrate, is a mechanical engineer and completed his course five years ago. He was running a soap-powder manufacturing unit at Perambalur.

A source said in keeping with the Sri Lankans' style of operation in such cases, the members of the gang seemed to have information only on a "need to know basis."