New Delhi : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted searches at 20 places at Kumbakonam, Thanjavur and Trichy in Tamil Nadu as well as neighbouring Karaikal in Puducherry in connection with the investigation in the murder of PMK leader V. Ramalingam.
Searches were conducted in the houses of the arrested and absconding accused, and the premises of four offices of Popular Front of India (PFI), said the agency, which had recently taken over the case from Tamil Nadu Police.
During searches, the NIA said, a number of digital devices including 16 mobile phones, 21 SIM cards, three laptops, nine hard discs, seven memory cards, 118 CDs/DVDs, a tab, seven diaries, two PFI banners and a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) have been seized.
Besides, one sword, one sharp-edged knife and cash amounting Rs 2 lakh were also recovered from three different houses and about 100 incriminating documents have also been seized, the anti-terror agency said.
Ramalingam, 41, a leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi party in Tamil Nadu, was allegedly killed on February 5 night while returning home in his mini van. He was allegedly killed after he questioned some people about religious conversion in the area.
"As part of a well-hatched conspiracy, the accused persons attacked him with lethal weapons like billhooks and knives causing grievous cut injuries on both of his hands, due to which he succumbed to his injuries. In this connection a case was registered in Thiruvidaimarudur Police Station in Tamil Nadu on February 6," the NIA said.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Police had arrested 10 accused persons while six others are still absconding. "The accused persons are active members or office bearers of PFI," the NIA added