The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has conducted searches at ten locations across Tamil Nadu, including Trichy, Coimbatore, Chennai, Sivagangai, and Tenkasi, targeting premises associated with members of Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) on February 2, 2024. NTK, a Tamil nationalist political party founded by film director Seeman, is under scrutiny for its alleged involvement in collecting funds for banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres from overseas Lankan Tamils.
Seeman, also known as Simen, is recognised for making inconsistent statements and is considered an opportunist. His party has faced accusations of being the B team of DMK, and Seeman himself has been criticized for targeting Hindu gods, religious customs, and political figures such as Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah. The NIA’s searches are part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal funding of the banned LTTE.
The raids included locations such as Trichy, where the residence of NTK leader and YouTuber Sattai Durai Murugan, also known as Murugan, was searched. Additionally, premises belonging to Naam Tamilar Katchi party worker Vishnu Pratap were subject to investigation. The NIA’s actions are centred around suspicions of financial support flowing to the LTTE from abroad, with Seeman’s party allegedly playing a role in these activities.
Seized materials during the searches include one laptop, seven mobile phones, eight SIM/memory cards, and four pen drives. The NIA also confiscated incriminating documents and books related to the LTTE terror organisation and its deceased leader, Prabhakaran.
This probe traces its origins back to the arrest of individuals Naveen Chakravorty and Sanjay Prakash in May 2022, who were found in possession of pistols, ammunition, and gunpowder. Inspired by the LTTE, they aimed to establish an outfit similar to the proscribed terrorist organisation.
Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) has approached the Madras High Court seeking intervention in the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) ongoing raids on its party office-bearers. Justices MS Ramesh and Sunder Mohan have agreed to hear the urgent petition on Friday afternoon.
The NIA’s actions are part of a broader investigation that traces back to October 2021, when the agency arrested Satkunam alias Sabesan, a former high-ranking intelligence operative of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sabesan faced charges related to drug and arms smuggling, with alleged connections to international networks in Pakistan and Dubai.
In June of the following year, the NIA filed a chargesheet against 13 individuals, including three Indians and ten Sri Lankan nationals, in a case involving illegal drugs and arms trade between India and Sri Lanka. The case pointed to attempts to revive the LTTE through funding generated from the illegal trade.
Subsequent arrests included Muhammad Iliyaz in April 2023, a trader in Chennai with alleged links to Sri Lankan Tamil smugglers attempting to revive the banned LTTE through drug and arms trafficking. In December 2022, the NIA arrested nine Sri Lankans from a refugee camp in Tamil Nadu for their purported involvement in illegal drugs and arms trade with the goal of reviving the LTTE.
Further actions in October 2022 saw the NIA raid the residence of Vigneswaran, a 27-year-old individual alleged to have connections with former LTTE cadres while working in Chennai. In March 2022, investigations into terror funding for the LTTE led to the filing of a charge sheet against six individuals. These individuals were accused of conspiring with foreign entities to syphon off money from dormant bank accounts using forged identity documents.
The ongoing raids by the NIA have targeted Naam Tamilar Katchi functionaries, with important documents reportedly confiscated from Vishnu Prathap, the NTK Sivagangai district secretary. Additionally, Sattai Duraimurugan, another office bearer of NTK, has been issued a summons by the NIA.
The party’s decision to seek legal intervention suggests a pushback against the NIA’s actions, and the court hearing on the matter will be closely watched for its potential implications on the investigation into alleged links between NTK and illegal activities, particularly those connected to the LTTE.