Suba Ilavarasan arrested?

SALEM SEPT. 26 . The Tamil militant, Suba Ilavarasan, self-styled leader of the banned outfit, Tamilar Viduthalai Iyakkam, was reportedly arrested here in the late hours yesterday.

However, no senior police official confirmed it, dismissing the arrest report as a "rumours". Ilavarasan was reportedly picked up from the house of a lawyer here. A police official, who preferred anonymity, said that special branch sleuths would have arrested him and preferred to keep the matter under wraps, as the case "needs sensitive handling".

Talking to The Hindu, the Salem Range DIG, Tamilarasan, said top officials and personnel of special branches of Salem, Namakkal and Dharmapuri districts were not aware of the arrest.

Ilavarasan came to limelight when he hoisted his outfit's flag in the presence of the forest brigand, Veerappan, and his associates in the Sathyamangalam forests. Police sources say Ilavarasan got trained in using arms in Veerappan's company. He was involved in many cases in and around Perambalur and Ariyalur areas.

The police believe that Ilavarasan knew the "exact whereabouts of Veerappan".

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