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NIA raids at 6 locations in TN linked to IS-like group

Chennai : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday carried out searches at six locations in Tamil Nadu in connection with the alleged plot by an IS-inspired group to murder leaders of Hindu organizations and also for the links of the terror group’s suspects with the April easter bombings in Sri Lanka in April this year.

An NIA source said that the anti-terror probe agency was carrying out searches at six locations including two locations at Kovai beside one each in Elayangudi, Trichy, Kayalpattinam and Nagapattinam. The source said that the NIA was probing the alleged conspiracy to kill Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath and his son Omkar by the Islamic State-inspired groups.

The source also revealed that the agency was also probing the links of the terror suspects with the Sri Lankan easter bombings.

The source said that the raids were conducted after the agency got the inputs during the questioning of several terror suspects.

On April 21, serial bomb attacks rocked Sri Lanka and claimed over 250 lives. The killings were claimed by the Islamic State group.

Another NIA source said that the agency has also detained two people from Coimbatore in connection with the case and was questioning them for allegedly being in touch with people associated with a terrorist gang which conspired, collected funds and made preparations to carry out terror attacks in India with the intention of establishing Islamic rule.

They have been identified as Nissar from GM Nagar area and Sauridin from Lorrypet area of the city. The central probe agency was alerted by the local police in July about the plot. Earlier in July, the agency had conducted searches at 14 locations in Tamil Nadu as part of its probe into the IS-Ansarulla terror module case.

On September 21, the NIA had conducted a search at the residence of a man in Tirunelveli district in the state for his alleged association with the terrorist gang. On August 29, the anti-terror probe agency conducted searches across multiple locations in Coimbatore in connection with a terror alert issued to Tamil Nadu.

In September last year, a Special Investigation Unit of the Coimbatore police had foiled a plot by seven members of an IS-inspired Islamic group in Tamil Nadu to murder Sampath, Hindu Munnani leader Mookambikai Mani and Sakthi Sena leader Anbu Mari.

Since then NIA has been working and gathering information in South India and looking into activities of suspected radicalized youths. According to NIA officials, Tamil Nadu tops the list of Indian states where anti-terror agencies have unearthed modules of Salafi jihadists over a period of five years since 2014.

The NIA has claimed to have arrested 127 IS sympathizers from across India since 2014 and 33 were from Tamil Nadu.