NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday carried out searches across various locations in Tamil Nadu in connection with the murder of V.Ramalingam, a functionary of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) political party based in the state.
The NIA searched as many as 20 locations related to the radical Islamist group, Popular Front of India (PFI), across regions in Tamil Nadu, a senior official from the agency said, requesting not to be named.
The locations included Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Trichy and Karaikal, a statement from the agency confirmed.
“During searches, a number of digital devices, including 16 mobile phones, 21 SIM cards, 3 laptops, 9 hard discs, 7 memory cards, 118 CDs/DVDs, 1 Tab, 7 diaries,, 2 PFI banners, 1 DVR have been seized. Besides 1 sword, 1 sharp edged knife and cash of ₹2 lakh were recovered from 3 different houses and about 100 incriminating documents have also been seized," according to the statement.
The 41-year-old Ramalingam was murdered on 5 February by a gang in what the NIA called a ‘well-hatched conspiracy’. Ramalingam succumbed to his injuries and a case was registered in the Thiruvidaimarudur police station.
The case was transferred to the NIA in March after allegations surfaced that Ramalingam was murdered because he objected to religious conversions in the area.
Senior state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has allied with the PMK in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, had alluded to theories that the murder should not be treated as an isolated incident, Press Trust of India reported on 7 February.
The Thanjavur police had arrested 10 people and six others are absconding, according to the NIA. All the accused are members of the PFI.