TAMIL NADU

LTTE sympathiser held for `inflammatory speech'

PUDUKOTTAI JULY 3 . The Tamil Mandram organiser, R. Pavannan, was picked up by the police here today on the charges that he made ``inflammatory speech'' at a meeting in Erode district a few days ago. The literary outfit is closely associated with P. Nedumaran's Tamil Nationalist Movement.

A sympathiser of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Mr. Pavannan was among those who courted arrest at Pudukottai recently after having attempted to burn copies of the AIADMK-sponsored Assembly resolution demanding extradition of the LTTE leader, V. Prabakaran, to India for standing trial in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

At the meeting organised by the Pavendar Ilakkiya Mandram, he allegedly criticised the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, and spoke in support of the LTTE. The district police registered a case in this connection.

High drama prevailed this morning as a strong contingent of police had surrounded his house at Machuvadi here since late last night. However, he was taken into custody only at around 8.15 this morning, as he demanded an arrest warrant, expressing apprehensions that he might be handed over to the Karnataka Special Task Force, in search of the forest brigand, Veerappan. However, he accompanied a police party from Erode after having been informed of the case registered against him.

He was later escorted to Erode. A group of his supporters gathered in front of his house and raised slogans against the Government.

Our Erode Staff Reporter reports:

Mr. Pavannan was taken to the Kavindapady police station this afternoon and the police were interrogating him.

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