Chennai: Four years after a man was killed, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday “raided the homes of five absconding Proclaimed Offenders (POs) and suspects across 21 locations in Tamil Nadu”. The agency called this the “PFI conspiracy case” relating to the “brutal assassination” of Ramalingam, who the NIA said protested against “forcible conversions” by the banned outfit. Ramalingam was a functionary of the Pattali Makkal Katchi.
The state-wide raids in the Ramalingam Murder PFI conspiracy case were conducted on the residential premises of several functionaries of the Popular Front of India (PFI), including Nellai Mubarak, who is also the State President of the SDPI. Others whose houses were raided included absconding accused Mohammed Ali Jinna, Abdul Majith, Bhurkhanudeen, Shahul Hameed and Nafeel Hassan.
Seizure of Evidence
During the raids in the districts of Thanjavur, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tirupur, Villupuram, Trichy, Pudukottai, Coimbatore and Mayiladuthurai, several digital devices (mobile phones, SIM cards and memory cards) and documents were seized, the NIA said.
The NIA has announced a reward of Rs. 5 lakh each to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of any of the five absconders. The prosecution of others already arrested in the case is currently under way, the agency said.
Status of the Case
Earlier, the NIA had filed a Chargesheet against 18 accused persons, including the five absconding accused persons, on 2nd August 2019, before the NIA Spl Court, Chennai. The NIA Spl Court, Chennai, had declared these five absconding accused persons as Proclaimed Offenders.
Ramalingam was murdered on February 5, 2019 in Paku Vinayakam Thoppu, Thanjavur by members and office bearers of the PFI, “which had conspired the assassination”.
The Brutal Assassination
According to the NIA, the accused persons had avenged Ramalingam by killing him in “an extremely violent jihadi manner” as he objected to the forcible conversion of underprivileged persons by Dawah Team / Proselytization team dispatched from Arivagam, Theni (now attached as proceeds of terrorism under section 25 of UA(P) Act, 1967).
The NIA investigations revealed, the violence was instigated to instil fear among the opponents of the outfit, declared as an ‘unlawful association’ under UAPA by the Government of India on September 28. 2022, and to drive a wedge between the communities by inciting communal hatred and violence.
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