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Explosives’ seizures worry Tamil Nadu cops

By T.S.V. Hari, IANS

Chennai : Discoveries of explosives’ caches in two Tamil Nadu districts Sunday worried state police officials on a day the US government indicated increased Maoist activity in Tamil Nadu since last year.

Home ministry sources here admitted that a PMK worker K. Ilanchezhiyan was taken into custody in Kanchipuram district 60 km from here for illegally possessing several country made bombs.

Prem Anand Sinha, Perambalur district superintendent of police, said on telephone that a huge stash of unaccounted explosives was seized from a stone quarry following an explosion that killed one person.

“We are worried at instances of unrecorded explosives cropping up in the state, but are hopeful of success within a week,” a top official told IANS.

The two incidents were reported within a 250 km southward radius of capital Chennai.

Significantly, two persons died in an explosion last year in Ilanchezhiyan’s farm.

The US government had said that there were 971 instances of Maoist activities in India during the first seven months in 2007.

In July 2007, a civic official was killed when an IED went off under his car in Sivaganga (constituency of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram) within days of newspaper reports alleging presence of over 600 Maoists in the foothills of the Western Ghats on Tamil Nadu’s border with Kerala, 400 km south of Chennai. Four of them were caught by alert locals.

Top police officials denied links between Sunday’s incidents and increased extreme left-wing political activity in the state – though three Maoists were killed in encounters in Tamil Nadu during the last 35 days.

Significantly, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi chided PMK founder Ramadoss Saturday for repeatedly being an impediment to the state’s developmental activities following the latter’s verbal assault against creation of Special Economic Zones to benefit major business houses, a well-known left-wing stand.

The left, along with PMK, prop up the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime in Tamil Nadu.

Statistics provided by the state government admit that 87 cases have been registered against “agent provocateurs” owing allegiance to the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for smuggling ordnance to Sri Lanka since the DMK came to power in Tamil Nadu in 2006.

Seven of them belong to the self-styled Tamil culture vigilantes PMK and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi – both allies of the DMK and apologists of the LTTE espousing a left-of-centre political disposition.