Tuesday, December 25, 2007

TAMIL NADU : Police step up hunt for five more naxalites

K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: With the arrest of five suspected naxalites at Varusanadu in Theni district last week, the police have stepped up their hunt for five more, wanted in connection with various cases.

A senior officer said the search had been intensified for Kalidoss, Navinprasad, Rajah, Sekar and Velu. Steps were being taken to check the movement of Maoists in the State. Details about Yogesh, one of those arrested, would be sought from Maharashtra Government. Efforts were on to identify the weapons.

The officer said investigation had revealed that Nondi Palani alias Mahalingam, one of those nabbed after the Varusanadu encounter on December 19, was leading the team and acting as a coordinator. Mahalingam was injured in the encounter and is in hospital.

It was believed that after the detection of the arms training camp at Murugan Malai near Periyakulam in June this year, some of the naxalites had escaped and were camping in the Varusanadu area.

Police suspect the locations were chosen by the naxalites to make a quick getaway to Kerala, if necessary. All possible steps were being taken to curb naxalite activity in hill ranges, particularly Periyakulam and Varusanadu, the officer said. The ‘Q’ Branch was investigating the case relating to the arrest of five persons.

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