TAMIL NADU

Comprehensive crime profile under study

Suba Ilavarasan.  

SALEM, JUNE 1. Investigating agencies are considering preparing a "comprehensive crime profile'' on Suba. Ilavarasan, leader of the banned radical outfit, Tamizhar Viduthalai Iyakkam, so that an effective and consolidated charge sheet can be submitted in court.

The investigation officers, struck by the enormity of the crimes in which he has been named accused, will propose to authorities ``amalgamation'' of the cases registered in various police stations in Perambalur, Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Chengalpattu East and Chennai districts.

Moreover, the state views with concern Ilavarasan's association with forest brigand Veerappan, as it provides a dangerous dimension to his activities, say highly placed police sources.

Last week, the Special Task Force, searching for Veerappan, arrested Ilavarasan and his associate Saha alias Sagadevan, near Kolathur, when they were allegedly sneaking arms into forests. Sagadevan's association with Ilavarasan is intriguing to the police here.

A senior investigating officer points out that the cases against Ilavarasan could have been dealt easily had he been declared a ``proclaimed offender'' under Section 82/83 of the Criminal Procedure Code when he went underground. Based on this, a strong conviction could have been obtained.

`Clumsy handling of cases'

It was the Q Branch, which, during combing operations against the cadres of the Tamil Nadu Liberation Army (TNLA), arrested Ilavarasan at Gangavalli in Salem district on August 8, 1997. The Perambalur court remanded him to judicial custody and subsequently he was detained under the National Security Act. Earlier he was on parole thrice, in 1994 and 1995, in a few other cases. After serving a prison term, he surfaced again, obtaining conditional bail. "The handling of his cases by various investigation agencies, primarily the local police, is clumsy. As a result, courts enlarged him on bail and conditional bail in almost all cases," the officer points out.

Top police officials are now confident that Ilavarasan can be tried successfully once the "comprehensive crime profile'' is ready. They say it will be produced before court in a single consolidated charge sheet under Section 219 or 223 of the Cr.PC. "The UI (under investigation) cases and CS (charge-sheeted) cases have to be ``amalgamated'' for which the state, (through the Police department) should move the appropriate forum (High Court) to obtain orders," they point out.

This exercise will ensure safety to witnesses, as the court can record their evidence in the absence of the accused under Section 299 of the Cr. PC. The Special Investigation Team, which investigated the serial blasts case in Coimbatore a few years ago, in fact, pursued this legal formula.

Ilavarasan's ideological bearings are in the Ponparappi Tamilarasan's camp of revolutionary thinking. He came to the spotlight when he, along with TNLA cadres, participated in the attack on the Puthur police station on April 6, 1991. He was arrested on February 1, 1992 and released on conditional bail from October 28, 1992. The police say that after the murder of Tamilarasan, he formed the Tamil Nadu Murpokku Sinthanaiyalargal Ezhuchi Mandram. He also floated the TVI, which was subsequently banned. He has built a strong base strong base, particularly among youth in the arid tracts of Perambalur, Cuddalore and Ariyalur.

Produced in court

Meanwhile, the Salem police today produced Ilavarasan and Sagadevan before P. Haridoss, judicial magistrate 1 at Mettur, after the completion of a four-day custody period. The magistrate remanded them to judicial custody.

While leaving the court hall, Ilavarasan told the media that police treated him very well during interrogation. Thanking the Superintendent of Police, Pon Manickavel and the Chief Investigating Officer and Mettur DSP M.A. Srinivasan, for conducting the interrogation in a ``fair and refined manner,'' he said there was no human rights abuse during his stay in the police station.

The police also permitted Ilavarasan to talk to his relatives. Both he and Sagadevan were later taken to the Salem central prison amid tight security.