TAMIL NADU

Police continue efforts to trace origin of aluminium bars

K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: Markings on gunny bags containing aluminium bars, seized by the Indian Navy off the Rameswaram coast last Monday, point to a place in Gujarat.

As enquiries revealed that the supplies were meant for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the police are trying to find out the origin of the metal bars, a senior police officer told The Hindu on Saturday.

A Navy surveillance vessel seized the aluminium bars, kept in 92 gunny bags, aluminium rings and other articles while searching a country boat near Dhanushkodi on February 12.

Murugesan and Ganesh of Rameswaram were arrested in this connection.

Based on the markings on the gunny bags, the local police and the "Q" branch were making a joint effort to trace the manufacturer.

Investigation was also on in the case relating to the seizure of 3200 kg of aluminium bars from a country boat by the Coast Guard between Dhanushkodi and Sri Lanka on February 14. The seizure assumed more importance as the persons secured -- Jayakaran, Sugumar and Ranjith Kumar - hailed from Jaffna.

The seized material and the three persons had been handed over to the Ramanthapuram district police.

The police were crosschecking on information that an LTTE functionary, Kannan, had come to the Tamil Nadu coast.

There was not much input regarding the person concerned as identification itself was a major problem with regard to LTTE militants who went by different assumed names.