Officers of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday morning conducted simultaneous searches at 20 locations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, including four offices of radical outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), in connection with the murder of PMK functionary V. Ramalingam in Thanjavur in February.
Split into teams, the NIA officials carried out the raids with search warrants and with protection provided by the local police.
In a statement, the NIA said, “A number of devices, including 16 mobile phones, 21 SIM cards, three laptops, nine hard discs, seven memory cards, 118 CDs/DVDs, one tab, seven diaries, two PFI banners and a DVR were seized during the raids.”
“Besides these, a sword, a sharp-edged knife and Rs 2 lakh cash were recovered from three different houses and around 100 incriminating documents were also seized,” the NIA added.
The probe agency further said, Searches were conducted at 20 locations in Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Trichy and Karaikal in the houses of those arrested in the case as well as the accused who are absconding and four offices of the PFI.”
“The case pertains to the murder of 41-year-old Ramalingam, a resident of Thiruvidimarudur in Thanjavur district, on February 5 this year. As part of a well hatched conspiracy accused persons attacked him with lethal weapons like billhook and knives causing grievous cut injuries on both of his hands, due to which he succumbed to his injuries,” the statement noted.
"Thanjavur police had arrested 10 accused earlier. Six other accused are still absconding. The accused persons are active members/office bearers of PFI," the NIA concluded.
Ramalingam is said to be a worker of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK). Local police had registered a case following the incident. The NIA registered the case on March 7.