The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has intensified its crackdown on individuals suspected to have links with naxals, Maoists, and terrorists across the country. On the 8th of this month, the premier probe agency conducted raids at multiple locations in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, and Maharashtra as part of an investigation involving a top CPI (Maoist) leader.
In Tamil Nadu, NIA teams from Telangana carried out searches at the residence of a short film director suspected to have Maoist connections. The search operation targeted the home of Mukil Chandra, a native of Telangana, located in Koratur. Mukil Chandra is alleged to have directed short films featuring naxals in prominent roles.
During the raid, which lasted from 6 am to noon, NIA officials questioned Mukil Chandra about the source of funds for producing the films, the identity of his financiers, and other individuals involved in the filmmaking process. The NIA team seized incriminating documents during the operation and is expected to make further arrests in connection with the case.
Additionally, the NIA conducted raids at more than 10 locations linked to the recent car bomb blast in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The extensive searches were carried out across Hyderabad, Thane, Chennai, Mallapuram, and Palakkad, leading to the seizure of documents and books associated with the proscribed CPI (Maoist) outfit. The agency also confiscated six mobile phones with SIM cards and Rs 1,37,210 in cash.
NIA raids in #Telangana.
NIA searches underway at residence of Veekshanam Editor N Venugopal in Himayatnaar in #Hyderabad since the early hours of Thursday, 8 February.
Venugopal is a kin of poet and activist Varavara Rao of Virasam accused in Bhima Koregaon violence case by… pic.twitter.com/IyIKM5MRiF
— South First (@TheSouthfirst) February 8, 2024
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the investigation from the Cyberabad Police, Telangana, following the arrest of Sanjoy Deepak Rao, a Central Committee Member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). Rao was apprehended with a revolver, live rounds, forged Aadhaar cards, and Rs 47,280 in cash.
The probe revealed that Sanjoy Rao was actively involved in promoting the activities of the CPI (Maoist) in the tri-junction area of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. Operating under his directives, other frontline members of the outfit were engaged in urban areas of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.
This development comes in the wake of heightened efforts by the NIA to dismantle networks associated with extremist groups and prevent potential acts of terrorism and violence. Sanjoy Rao’s arrest and subsequent investigation provide significant leads into the operations of the banned Maoist organisation in South India.
The NIA’s proactive stance in taking over the case underlines the agency’s commitment to addressing the threat posed by Naxalite and Maoist activities in the region. The investigations are expected to shed light on the network’s modus operandi, funding sources, and connections to other individuals involved in unlawful activities.
In a parallel operation, NIA officers conducted searches at multiple locations linked to the Coimbatore car bomb blast. The targeted sites included the residence of N Venugopal, editor of Veekshanam magazine, and the residence of human rights activist Ravi Sharma. These searches are reportedly connected to suspicions of links with Maoists.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) intensified its efforts in the investigation of the Coimbatore car bomb blast that occurred in October 2022. On February 10th, NIA special teams conducted raids at 18 locations in Tamil Nadu, targeting individuals suspected to have connections with the incident.
In Coimbatore, 12 residences were searched, along with three locations in Chennai, and one each in Madurai, Tiruchi, and Tirunelveli. The operation aimed to gather evidence related to the car explosion in front of Sangameswarar temple, which claimed the life of the lone occupant, Jameesha Mubeen (27), the alleged suicide bomber.
NIA’s investigation has revealed that Mubeen had links with ISIS or its sympathisers, and it is suspected that he intended to carry out a suicide attack to instill terror within society. The agency has so far arrested 15 individuals in connection with the case.
Significantly, after the blast, NIA recovered 109 articles from Mubeen’s residence, including Potassium Nitrate, Black Powder, matchbox, cracker fuse, Nitro Glycerine, PET powder, Aluminium powder, and a 9-volt battery.
In Coimbatore, the raids targeted individuals such as IT employee Sahil Ali, son of retired Superintendent of Police Sowkath Ali, medical representatives Nazar, Abdul Rasheed, S Mohammed Sudhir, and K Salavudeen, mobile phone outlet salesperson A Aneesh Ahamed, power tools shop owner A Rizwan, and others.
In Chennai, the NIA officials conducted raids at the residences of private company employee Naveed Khan, Mohammed Abudullayh Basha, and Rizya Akram. These individuals are expected to be summoned for questioning in the coming days.
Moreover, NIA officials went to East Boulevard Road in Tiruchi to search the house of Abdul Rasool, and in Madurai and Tirunelveli, the houses of H Ali Jihad and A Bakruddin Ali Mohammed were searched. Reports suggest that officials questioned Ali Jihad about his activities on social media and seized SIM cards, a mobile phone, books, and documents.
The NIA’s rigorous operation reflects its commitment to uncovering the network behind the Coimbatore car bomb blast and bringing those involved to justice. The raids focused on gathering crucial evidence and questioning individuals linked to the incident, marking a significant step forward in the ongoing investigation.