Tamil Nadu: NIA searches homes of 10 who ‘planned to form terror gang’

The search operations were carried out at homes of the accused at Muthupet in Thiruvarur, Keelakarai and Devipattinam in Ramanathapuram, Lalpet in Cuddalore, and Salem.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday carried out searches at 10 locations in parts of Tamil Nadu in connection with a case initially registered by Tamil Nadu Police against 10 people for their alleged plans to form a terrorist gang, raise funds, collect arms for a terrorist attack.

Three laptops, three hard discs, 16 mobile phones, eight SIM cards, two pen drives, five memory cards and one card reader, besides two knives and a large number of incriminating documents , were seized, the NIA stated in a release.

The search operations were carried out at homes of the accused at Muthupet in Thiruvarur, Keelakarai and Devipattinam in Ramanathapuram, Lalpet in Cuddalore, and Salem.

The case relates to a group of 10 from different parts of Tamil Nadu who had formed a WhatsApp group named Shahadat Is Our Goal . The case was registered in April 2014 at Keelakarai police station under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act. Nine of the 10 accused have been arrested, one person is absconding.

A senior NIA officer said, We do not yet have any evidence to link these people with the Islamic State. We have not yet found any Sri Lanka connection (related to the recent blasts in the island-nation) either, as this is an old case. As of now, we believe this is a self-motivated group. (With inputs from ENS, New Delhi)