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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1980

TN police bust LTTE smuggling racket, seize 3 sat phones

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 01 January (Asiantribune.com): While the political situation in Tamil Nadu remains dicey and a by-election has become a battleground where ethnic Tamil issue has many ready takers, the LTTE suffered a setback with the police arresting a person smuggling communication equipment to the Tigers. The arrested person, identified as Dileepan (30) is a Sri Lankan national, according to the police, who nabbed him in a joint operation with the intelligence agencies on Tuesday night.

Dileepan was carrying three satellite phones with him at the time of his arrest. This is the second arrest in as many days that may finally lead the police to busting the LTTE smuggling racket fully. Sunday arrest of Antony (32) yielded satellite phones, GPS equipment and ammonium nitrate.

In the recent months LTTE shifted most of its India centric operations to the Malabar in Kerala, where it is utilizing the local expertise in boat making as well. The shift was forced by increased vigil at the usual haunts of Tigers like Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, and Mandapam.

Police have not given out much information either about Dileepan or Antony. It is said that Dileepan had come to Chennai to handover the satellite phones to a LTTE contact. He migrated to India recently from Switzerland where he had worked in a bakery.

By – Election Fever

The cracks between DMK and PMK have become wider with the predominantly Vanniyars party deciding to keep off the forthcoming by election to the assembly from Tirumangalam.

The seat has fallen vacant following the death of after the death of Veera Ilavarasan on November 8. He was a member of the MDMK of V Gopalasamy, alias Vaiko, the firebrand leader who openly flaunts his leanings towards the Tigers.

MDMK is an ally of Jayalalithaa Jayaram led AIADMK, which has become the rallying point for the Left parties, who are keen to ensure the emergence of a Third Force at the national scene as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP.

AIADMK and the DMK are pitted against each other for honours in the by-election. Others in the fray include nominees of two small parties – DMDK led by actors-turned-politician Vijaykanth and AISMK of cinema actor –political activist Sarath Kumar.

PMK has been distancing itself from the DMK though the alliance has not formally broken. The Ramadoss duo who run the party, have decided to desert the DMK camp and migrate to the AIADMK camp. The switch will take place once the Lok Sabha elections are announced.
The reasons for not campaigning in the by-election are however attributed to the PMK desire to concentrate on beefing up its organisational strength.

The DMK campaign is led by M.K. Azhagiri, the eldest son of Karunanidhi. And he is pulling out all stops to ensure victory by a big margin.

Balloting will take on January 9.

-Asian Tribune -

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