New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on July 23 carried out searches at 24 locations in nine districts of Tamil Nadu as part of its ongoing investigation into the February 2019 murder of one Ramalingam, who had opposed the Dawah work of leaders of Popular Front of India (PFI) allegedly involved in converting Hindus into Islam, sources said. Raids are being conducted at Kumbakonam, Melakaveri, Thirupuvanam, and Thirumangalakudi in the Thanjavur district, among other places.
“The NIA carried out these searches at the premises and hideouts of suspects linked to the banned PFI outfit based on intelligence inputs,” sources said. On August 2, 2021, the NIA arrested an absconding key conspirator Rahman Sadiq (41), in the case, which was initially registered on February 6, 2019, at Thiruvidaimaruthur Police Station in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu under section 341, 294(b) and 307 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for conspiring and killing Ramalingam on February 5, 2019.
The NIA had then said that Ramalingam was killed as he had “opposed the Dawah work of leaders of Popular Front of India (PFI) who were converting Hindus into Islam.”
“The killing was aimed to create terror in the minds of a particular section of people, to create enmity between different religious communities and to avenge and teach a lesson to Ramalingam, who had removed the “taqiyah” (skull cap) worn by one of the accused persons, and applied “thiruneer” (sacred ash) on the forehead of accused Mohammed Farooq in order to portray that all religions are same.”
The NIA re-registered the case on March 7, 2019, and took over the investigation. The NIA had earlier filed a charge sheet against 18 accused persons on August 2, 2019. After the arrest of Rahman Sadiq, NIA said that he was the administrator of Dawah’s work of PFI in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.
Rahman Sadiq and other accused persons had conspired in Thirubhuvanam on February 5, 2019, against Ramalingam by chopping his hands. He and the other co-conspirators had arranged weapons, vehicles, and hideouts for executing the plan.
“Rahman Sadiq was also instrumental in recruiting members for committing this terrorist act. After killing Ramalingam, accused Rahman Sadiq was hiding at various places in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh before being apprehended. The NIA announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for information relating to his apprehension and he was also declared as Proclaimed Offender by the NIA Special Court,” the NIA said.
Who is Thirupuvanam Ramalingam?
In 2019, Thirupuvanam Ramalingam was assassinated for allegedly stopping conversion propaganda in Thirupuvanam near Kumbakonam. He was a municipal-level administrator in the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) led by Anbumani Ramadoss and also worked as a prominent Hindu leader. (With Inputs ANI)