India extends ban on LTTE by two more years


New Delhi : Exactly a year after the Sri Lankan military destroyed the Tamil Tigers, the Indian government Friday extended the ban on the outfit by two more years.

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“The central government has extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as an unlawful association by two years. The notification to this effect was issued today,” a brief home ministry statement said.

The statement didn’t give the reason for extending the ban that New Delhi first imposed in 1992, a year after the LTTE grotesquely assassinated former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Official sources said the ban had been extended in view of the continuing activities by LTTE supporters in India as well as in the Western world, where the Tigers once maintained a string of offices.

The home ministry is expected to issue a formal gazette notification explaining the reasons for prolonging the ban and inviting objections, if any.

The LTTE was first outlawed in 1992 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Since then, the ban has been extended every two years.

The Sri Lankan military crushed the LTTE in May last year, killing its founder leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and all his top aides and ending the island nation’s quarter century old civil war.

The LTTE once enjoyed sanctuary in India. But New Delhi turned against the group after the Tigers took on the Indian military deployed in Sri Lanka’s northeast in 1987-90 and after Gandhi’s assassination at an election rally near Chennai on May 21, 1991.

Until his death in May 2009, Prabhakaran was wanted in India for Gandhi’s killing.