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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2958

LTTE Seniors Balakumaran, 8 other hardcore in police custody

Colombo, 12 June, ( LTTE Senior V.Balakumar Balakumaran and seven other hardcore Tigers are in the police net, Asian Tribune learns. They are Yogaratnam Yogi, former LTTE spokesman, Baby Subramaniam, LTTE stalwart of long years, Lawrence Thilakar, a former head of the LTTE’s International Secretariat, Ilamaparithi, Jaffna political leader, Karikalan of the Eastern Province and three others whose names are not immediately available.

Nabbed hours before the Elam War ended, they are detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Informed sources said that Balakumaran and his colleagues were initially kept at an army camp in Anuradhapura. They were flown to Colombo and presented before a Police Magistrate at his residence who has ordered their detention at Anuradhapura itself. Accordingly, they were flown back to the army camp. The detention can be up to 180 days pending investigation and trial.

The sources said that the group would soon be relocated to Colombo for security reasons. It is possible that they could be held Panagoda Army Camp.

Amongst this group, Balakumaran has a colorful past. A former manager of Puloly Rural Bank, who robbed the bank in broad day light in the seventies, graduated to LTTE through EROS. His wife, Inthiranee, a midwife by training, is now attending on her injured daughter at Polonaruwa hospital. The girl was hit by shrapnel during fighting in Vanni

When Inthiranee was arrested, she had in her possession two kilograms of gold jewellery and more than Sri Lanka Rupees eight lakh in cash.

Inthiranee married Balakumaran after she lost her first husband. They have three children - two boys and a girl. While the eldest son is studying in Australia with the help of LTTE supreme Prabhakaran, the second son is living with his mother’s relatives at Nallur, Jaffna.

Puloly Multipurpose Cooperative Society (MPCS) was a thriving venture when Balakumaran joined it as the manager of the society’s bank after graduation in 1973. Soon he became the president of the Puloly MPCS workers Trade Union. Three years later, in collusion with Varatharaja Perumal and three others, Balakumaran staged a day-light robbery of the bank on May 10, 1976.

Varatharaja Perumal, as EPRLF leader went on to become the first chief minister of the North-East Provincial Council under Indian patronage. When the LTTE put a price on his head, India whisked him away to a safe hideout some where in Northern India. The other accomplices of the robbery were S. Thavarajah of the EPDP and former Member of Parliament, Thangamahenthiran, Santhiramohan and Natkunananthan (Kovai Nanthan).

The long arm of law caught up with the gang and the loot was recovered. This is the only bank robbery that has been solved in the Jaffna district till date.

Police records show that Balakumaran, while on bail in the robbery case, planned and killed almost all the police officers who had investigated the case. They are Jaffna Headquarter Inspector Pathmanathan, Inspector Kumar, Sub-Inspector Perampalam, Constable Karunanidhi and two other Constables with same name, Shanmuganathan.
The killing of Perampalam is said to be connected with another robbery case in Mrunkan as well. Along with him, Inspector Bastiampillai became a prey to Balakumaran.

The accused also tortured to death Inspector Jeyakumar, who was on the investigation team.

Reports say an LTTE operative identified as one Kugan has met Indian High Commission officials in London and urged them to put pressure on Colombo through Delhi for the release of Balakumaran.

-Asian Tribune-

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