The Q branch Police in Tamil Nadu have detained three Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including a couple, involved in several theft and chain snatching cases when they attempted to flee to Sri Lanka after engaging a boat in Rameswaram.
Acting on specific information, a Q branch team, led by N. Rajeshawari, Inspector of Police detained the trio – Rajan alias Kettiyan Pandi, 34, his wife Roopa alias Anu, 23, and Y. Nishanthan, 26, on Friday evening when they were waiting at the Ayyanarkoil seashore for boarding a boat to flee, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Pandi and his wife, who were staying at the Mettupatti refugee camp in Namakkal district and Nishanthan at Sivagnanapuram here after registering at the Mandapam refugee camp had decided to escape to their native villages in Jaffna after police launched a hunt for them in connection with chain snatching and criminal cases.
Police said Pandi, who had arrived as refugee in 2002, was involved in around 25 theft and chain snatching cases and was facing trial in about five cases. Nishanthan, who arrived as refugee in 1996, was also involved in several criminal cases, including two attempts to murder cases, police said. Roopa had pledged stolen jewellery and helped her husband, the police said.
After getting in touch with Nishanthan, Pandi arrived in Ramanathapuram with his wife, a couple of days ago to flee to Sri Lanka, police said.
Kenikarai police have arrested the trio.
The police have also arrested K Karnan, 42, a Sri Lankan Tamil living at Melavalasai on charges of pledging a stolen gold chain and mobilising money to the trio.
Police said Pandi after consuming liquor with Nishanthan on Friday night, had entered into a house at Madakottan, near here and snatched 7 sovereign of gold chain from an aged woman. Karnan pledged the chain for ₹1.10 lakh and arranged for their clandestine trip, police added. Pandi, who was initially into bike lifting, switched over to chain snatching and had been operating on his own, police said. The couple had left their two children with Roopa’s mother in Mettupatti camp, police added. (Colombo Gazette)