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 Post subject: Revelations that shocked - LTTE killed Indian fishermen
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:08 am 
LTTE behind killing of five Indian fishermen, says TN police

The LTTE was behind the killing of five Indian fishermen off Kanyakumari coast on March 29, Tamil Nadu police said. He said 12 Indian fishermen, who had been reported missing since March 4 last, were abducted by the sea tigers and were in the LTTE's custody now.

CHENNAI, APR 27 (PTI)

The LTTE was behind the killing of five Indian fishermen off Kanyakumari coast on March 29, Tamil Nadu police said.

DGP D Mukherjee, in a statement here tonight, said this was revealed during the interrogation of six LTTE cadre arrested on April 11 last off Tuticorin coast.

He said 12 Indian fishermen, who had been reported missing since March 4 last, were abducted by the sea tigers and were in the LTTE's custody now.

The Q branch CID, which took up the investigation of the case on April 23 interrogated the six. The interrogation revealed that the six belonged and were involved in smuggling of arms and ammunition from a LTTE ship in the high seas and transporting them to the LTTE camps in Sri lanka, he said.

Mukherjee said the six LTTE men were transporting arms and ammunition in their boat 'Maria', which developed a snag and started drifting towards Indian waters, when they chanced upon the Indian fishermen from Kanyakumari.

They sought the help of Indian fishermen after dropping all their arms and ammunition into the sea, he said.

Coast Gaurd on April 11 arrested the six persons -- Ravikumar, Bonibass, Robin, Arul Gnandasan, Arul and Selvakumar -- and seized the boat 'Maria'. Along with this, two boats with six Indian fishermen were also seized.

All of them were handed over to a police station in Tuticorin on April 12.

During the initial interrogation, the arrested told the police that their boat Maria was not the same and they were remanded to judicial custody and cases were registered for violation of Passports Act.

After suspicions arose about their identity, the case was transferred to 'Q branch' of police, which revealed the facts, he said.

Interrogation revealed that the boat seized by the Coast Gaurd near Tuticorin was the same one involved in the firing at Indian fishermen on March 29, he said.

However, the accused involved in the firing was another group of the sea tigers wing of the LTTE, which was ferrying cargo from LTTE's ship to their camp in Sri Lanka on March 29.

LTTE men opened fire on Indian fishermen as they suspected that fishermen were spying their movement, he said.



© Copyright PTI.


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 Post subject: Back from Tigers' mouth
 Post Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 8:03 pm 
Back from Tigers' mouth

Authorities are refusing to say whether the fishermen escaped from the Tiger rebels' custody or were released by the terrorists. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - had denied a role in the kidnapping as well as the killing of five Indian fishermen.

@ IANS, [RxPG] Chennai, May 18, 2007

Eleven of the dozen Indian fishermen reportedly kidnapped by the Tamil Tigers in March returned to Tamil Nadu late Friday evening and were being quizzed by the crime branch of state police.

Tamil Nadu's police chief D. Mukherjee confirmed that the fishermen had returned but refused to divulge details.

The fishermen returned in two batches of five and six between 5 and 7.45 p.m. and landed in Narikuli and Thangachimadam near the south Tamil Nadu port of Rameshwaram.

Police sources indicated that the fishermen were being debriefed by the state police's 'Q' branch criminal investigation department.

Authorities are refusing to say whether the fishermen escaped from the Tiger rebels' custody or were released by the terrorists.

One of the kidnapped 12, Simon - a boat mechanic from Kerala - has not returned. Police suspect that he may have been captured by Maldivian authorities on Thursday.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - had denied a role in the kidnapping as well as the killing of five Indian fishermen.

John Kennedy, whose three relatives were among those who returned home, said on telephone that he had been informed by police about their return.

The 12 fishermen from Kodimunai in Kanyakumari district had set sail in the fishing craft 'Sri Krishna' on March 7. Apart from Simon, the rest hail from Kanyakumari and Tuticorin districts of Tamil Nadu.

Mukherjee speculated that the alleged LTTE ship sunk off the Maldivian coast Thursday could have been the 'renamed and repainted' missing fishing craft 'Sri Krishna' and Simon could be one of the persons apprehended by the coast guard of the Maldives since he spoke in Malayalam.

On April 27, Mukherjee said that the rebels' 'Sea Tigers' naval wing was responsible for the killing of five Tamil Nadu fishermen on March 29 off Kanyakumari. He had said that the 12 missing fishermen were in LTTE custody.


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 Post subject: We were kidnapped by LTTE: Fishermen
 Post Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 8:12 pm 
We were kidnapped by LTTE: Fishermen

Image

Saturday, May 19, 2007
Copyright © 2007, Chennai Online


Chennai, May 19: Eleven Indian fishermen, who returned last night after having gone missing for 74 days, said they were kidnapped by the LTTE at sea on March 6, Tamil Nadu Director General of Police D Mukherjee said today.

During interrogation, the fishermen revealed that they were kidnapped by the outlawed LTTE, Mukherjee told reporters here.

The fishermen were brought here today from the coastal villages in Ramanathapuram district where they had landed yesterday. They also met Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the Secretariat today.

"Their statements confirm my earlier statement that they were kidnapped by the LTTE," Mukherjee said.

Karunanidhi has announced a solatium of Rs 10,000 each to help them meet their immediate requirements, official sources said.

The fishermen had ventured into the sea for fishing off Kanyakumari coast on March 6 and had gone missing since then. The DGP had disclosed on April 27 that the LTTE had abducted them. (Agencies)



A two month ordeal for TN fishermen

Asserting that their captors were LTTE men, he said they were all dressed in blue uniforms and speaking Tamil. "They always listened to LTTE's propaganda songs and portraits of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran were seen at those places," he added.

Saturday, May 19, 2007
Copyright © 2007, Chennai Online


Chennai, May 19: It was a tale of uncertainty and agony for 11 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who spent more than two months allegedly under outlawed LTTE detention in deep forests in Sri Lanka.

The unshaven haggard looking fishermen, who returned to the Indian shores yesterday, were brought here today for a meeting with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. A 14-year-old boy was also part of the team.

Later the fishermen, from the Kanyakumari and Tuticorin districts, were presented to the media by the Director General of Police D Mukherjee, who allowed only the team leader Clements to narrate the ordeal.

Speaking emotionally, Clements said they were fishing in the high seas in their mechanised boat 'Sri Krishna' when the Sea Tigers, the LTTE's naval wing, suddenly came in two fibre boats and abducted them at gun point.

While 11 of them were shifted to the fibre boats, the 12th person, Simon, a mechanical engineer belonging to Kollam in Kerala, was detained in the mechanised boat itself, he said.

"We pleaded with them to send Simon along with us as he speaks only Malayalam and cannot follow Tamil. But, we were taken away in fibre boats and we did not know what happened to Simon afterwards," he said.

They were initially taken to a place in deep forest, where they had a tough time living under a tarpaulin sheet among poisonous creatures like snakes and scorpions.

Asserting that their captors were LTTE men, he said they were all dressed in blue uniforms and speaking Tamil. "They always listened to LTTE's propaganda songs and portraits of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran were seen at those places," he added.

Clements said when the fishermen pleaded with the Tigers to let them free as they had not committed anything wrong, they said "We are all blood related and brothers. We need to utilise your boats. Please bear with us." Due to aerial strikes by Lankan forces, they were taken blindfolded to various locations including a temple, bunkers and prisons. Finally, they were lodged in a house where they were allowed to cook their food.

After a prolonged detention, the Sea Tigers at last took them to the middle of the sea in a boat on Thursday last and handed them over to Indian fishermen, he said.

"The Tigers told us that Simon had already been sent back to India in our mechanised boat. Only now, we came to know that he had been taken to Maldives," he said.

The fishermen, all clad in white dhoti and new T-shirts, remained tight lipped and refused to speak to the media as they were brought in a police van and immediately taken to the Chief Minister's chamber.

Sources said some fishermen broke down on seeing Karunanidhi and profusely thanked him for saving their lives. They also appealed to him to put an end to the abduction of Indian fishermen in high seas which had become routine now.


Quote:


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 Post subject: Revelations that shocked Tamil Nadu
 Post Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:45 am 
Revelations that shocked Tamil Nadu
LTTE sympathy to erode over fishermen abductions

Tamil Nadu was enveloped in protests over killings of five fishermen from the state, with most political parties blaming the Sri Lanka Navy for their deaths. Early in April, the Coast Guard caught six cadres of the LTTE's Sea Tigers off Tamil Nadu. In revelations that shocked Tamil Nadu and the Indian establishment, the arrested men confessed that it were the Tamil Tigers who had not only shot dead the five fishermen but also kidnapped the dozen men who had gone missing -- in two separate incidents.

From correspondents in Delhi, India
By M.R. Narayan Swamy (Staff Writer, © IANS)
Sunday, May 20, 2007


The dramatic return of 11 of the dozen Indian fishermen abducted from the sea by the Tamil Tigers marks the end of an ugly nearly 70-day saga that is bound to cost the group valuable sympathy in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, officials say.

Indian officials who closely studied the case say that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has lost face over the episode when it initially denied seizing the men who had done it no wrong until its own cadres arrested in Tamil Nadu spilled the beans.

And with the return to India of the 11 men from Tamil Nadu Friday, soon after the 12th man from Kerala got caught in a battle involving a LTTE vessel and Maldivian security forces, has only deepened the embarrassment of the Tigers and their supporters in Tamil Nadu.

'It is a huge blunder (by the LTTE),' an official here said of the abductions and the commandeering of their vessel, Sri Krishna. The 12th Indian is stated to be in custody in the Maldives now after apparently jumping into the waters.

The bizarre drama unfolded in March when the fishermen who had set out from Kanyakumari to stay put in the sea failed to return home even after weeks, sparking alarm in their families who sought help from the authorities to trace them.

The same month, Tamil Nadu was enveloped in protests over the killings of five fishermen from the state, with most political parties blaming the Sri Lanka Navy for their deaths in the sea at the hands of men from a vessel called Maria.

Early in April, the Coast Guard caught six cadres of the LTTE's Sea Tigers off Tamil Nadu and handed them over to the police after dramatically sighting the Maria floating in the sea sans any occupant.

In revelations that shocked Tamil Nadu and the Indian establishment, the arrested men confessed that it were the Tamil Tigers who had not only shot dead the five fishermen but also kidnapped the dozen men who had gone missing -- in two separate incidents.

The guerrillas - whose confessions were videoed - said that another group of Sea Tigers involved in smuggling weapons ended up killing the five Tamil Nadu fishermen when the latter picked up a row with the rebels thinking they were Sri Lankan fishermen.

One of the arrested Sea Tigers also stated that he had seen the abducted Indian fishermen in LTTE territory.

Officials speaking to IANS gave credit to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi for giving the police a free hand to deal with the latest crisis, quite unlike in 1989-91 when his government was dismissed for overlooking similar activities of the LTTE.

The abducted fishermen have stated that they suffered while in LTTE custody, were moved from one place to another and threatened with death if they tried to escape. One of them was asked to sail with a group of Tigers who got hit near the Maldives.

Eventually, the remaining 11 men were taken to the sea and transferred on to two Indian fishing boats Friday when it became clear that the Tigers' complicity in the saga could no more be denied.

The LTTE, which has used Tamil Nadu since the early 1980s in its armed campaign against Sri Lanka, is known to have commandeered Indian fishing boats earlier too. But it is the first time it ended up seizing and holding Indian fishermen this long.



By M.R. Narayan Swamy (Staff Writer, © IANS)


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 Post subject: LTTE is getting damned, for the second time
 Post Posted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:55 am 
LTTE is getting damned, for the second time after Rajiv assassination

Written by R. Bhagwan Singh
@ Indiainteracts.com


As we are nearing the 16th sorrowful anniversary of the gruesome assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a woman suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam, perpetrated on Tamil Nadu soil during his election campaign, the Lankan Tamil militant group finds itself damned all over again. This time, it is for abducting Indian fishermen and their vessels, besides the horrific incident of March 29 when five fishermen of Kanyakumari were gunned down by the Tigers suspecting that they were spying on their sea sorties to transfer weapons from the 'mother' ship to the land base in north Lanka.

Strangely, it was pure bad luck and hostile providence that jolted the Tigers on both the occasions. The Rajiv murder got quickly cracked by the CBI's Special Investigation Team because of the photographs taken by the young Haribabu, hired by the one-eyed Sivarasan to chronicle the killing. Dhanu, the assassin had perished in that blast of May 21, 1991, so did the target and a host of others close to the blast spot but the camera and its highly inflammable film survived. Any photographer hired for a private function normally clicks several pictures showing his sponsor to please him or her and Haribabu did just that, picking up Sivarasan, Dhanu, Nalini and the standby assassin Subha in the dozen pictures on the unfinished roll of his borrowed camera.

The camera was picked up by the police and its film delivered the identity of the killers. Rest was history, a sorrowful one at that. Apart from that a former Indian PM got blown up so brutally, another sad consequence of that mad killing was the loss of public sympathy and wide support that the Tigers had enjoyed across Tamil Nadu and in Delhi too. It took a long time for their supporters on this side of the Palk Strait to drum up enough courage to raise any slogans of solidarity without getting hauled up for backing a banned terror outfit. And just when these voices were getting bolder, shriller and louder, the Tigers got their second big setback in India when a fishing boat from Kanyakumari came back with corpses.

Chief minister M. Karunanidhi must have thought a million times before making that dramatic and very bold statement in the state legislature early May confirming his director general of police D. Mukherjee's assertion that it was the LTTE, and not the Sri Lankan Navy, which shot and killed five fishermen from Kanyakumari and in another incident, abducted eleven Kanyakumari fishermen and one from Kerala for grabbing their trawler, 'Sri Krishna', for use in transporting their arms from the mother ship berthed near the Maldivian waters to the camp in north Lanka.

'I have come out with the information that the Viduthalai Puligal (Liberation Tigers) had killed five Tamil fishermen even if that posed personal danger (from the Tigers), only to prove the government's honesty on the issue', said the chief minister in the state Assembly on May 4. At that time, he had also made known that 11 fishermen from Kanyakumari and one from Kerala were in the custody of the Tigers in north Lanka and promised to move the Centre and also the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo to secure their release.

Sources said he had in fact activated the pro-Tiger political activists to get across to the LTTE leadership in Killinochchi the Tamil Nadu anguish. Under intense pressure thus created, the LTTE had no option but to let the eleven Kanyakumari fishermen go on Friday, May 18, but the previous day, they lost 'Sri Krishna' to firing from the Maldivian Coast Guard.

Krishna was transferring weapons from the mother ship berthed with her deadly cargo in the sea near Maldives when it chanced upon a Maldivian fishing boat and fired at it. The fishing boat fled and reported the attack to the Coast Guard, which went after the rogue trawler. The Keralite fisherman, Simon Joyie, jumped into the sea to save himself from the Coast Guard fire and was picked up. And when the trawler blew up and sank, its four Sea Tiger crew too jumped in the water and were picked up by the Maldivian Coast Guard.

As stated in the beginning of this essay, this second major blow to the Tiger image in the vitally important Tamil Nadu political turf happened, again, due to sheer bad luck—just as the camera and its film survived the Rajiv blast and threw up vital evidence. A trawler called 'Maria'---the Tigers might have picked it up from one of the Tamil Nadu fishing groups either by paying an attractive compensation or by force—was transferring weapons from the mother ship when a fishing boat of nine men from Kanyakumari crossed its path. The Tamil Nadu fishermen thought 'Maria' was a fishing boat and pulling up close, demanded its catch since they got nothing from the sea.

The pleas from the crew of 'Maria' that they had no fish did not satisfy the Kanyakumari fishermen and a couple of them reportedly tried to board 'Maria' while one of them pulled the nets using a long poll. He saw the boxes hidden under the nets and promptly decided that the men of 'Maria' were hiding a big catch inside those boxes. A Sea Tiger opened fire and five fishermen died. Promptly, the pro-Tiger political and social outfits in Tamil Nadu damned the Sri Lankan Navy accusing it of killing the five Indian fishermen.

The survivors of the Kanyakumari boat did not talk much in public but they must have said enough somewhere, because for the first time in recent years, chief minister Karunanidhi seemed willing to spare the Lankan Navy the blame for the deaths on high seas. The fishermen were killed by some young unknown men who wore T-shirts and shorts—not the naval attire---and chief minister said, throwing up the question as to who these sea killers could have been. In private, however, the intelligence agencies were pointing an accusing finger at the Tigers.

A general alert was placed for locating 'Maria' and despite efforts by the Tigers to deface the name, it remained stuck on the trawler. A few days later, on April four to be specific, the Indian Coast Guard spotted 'Maria' being towed towards India by two Tamil Nadu fishing boats. The fishermen told the cops that they were helping 'Maria' reach the shore for repair as its engine had developed some problems. The failure of Maria's engine was the second bad stroke of luck for the LTTE, after the camera miracle at the Rajiv blast. If 'Maria' had not failed in such manner, its crew of Sea Tigers would not have been caught And the Vaikos and Veeramanis in Chennai would have stepped up their shrill condemnation of the Lankan Navy. The arrest of the Maria crew and their subsequent admission of the Tiger involvement in the death of the five Kanyakumari fishermen on March 29—by a different group of Sea Tigers handling Maria at that time-- must have come as a major blow to these pro-LTTE rabble rousers. There is some lull in public agitations on the Eelam issue as the Tiger supporters have gone into hiding after chief minister Karunanidhi's open proclamation that the Tigers had gunned down five Kanyakumari fishermen.

Not just that. The chief minister also went public on the information given by the Maria crew, that there were 12 Indian fishermen held captive in the Tiger camps. It is possible that to redeem their dipped spirits, some of the pro-LTTE political leaders might have intervened on his behalf to get the big Tiger in Killinochchi to order the release of the abducted men. Their arrival at Rameswaram on May 18 has brought big cheer, not only among the fishermen but also the Eelam watchers. It could take a little longer for the Tiger fans in Tamil Nadu to step out of their brief sabbatical.


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