Hand-grenades and land mines, unearthed from Pacha Talamalai reserve forest near Puliyur in Mettur taluk on Tuesday night, belong to the LTTE, said Salem police, as the hand-grenades were found to be imprinted with LTTE logo. “We have seized more than 100 hand-grenades and landmines,” a senior official from the investigation team told TOI. He said that all the shells were unused and could be exploded if filled with gun powder.
The officials also unearthed empty shells of hand-grenades and landmine shells on Wednesday morning. Earlier the police officials suspected that the seized materials might have been buried by LTTE members or forest brigand Veerappan’s gang several years ago. “Now we have checked all the empty shells and found ‘LTTE’ imprinted on them,” the official said and added that the LTTE members who took arms training in Puliyur village in 1983 might have forgotten to take the ammunition supply with them while they moved out of the village.
When contacted by TOI, Salem district superintendent of police R Sakthivel said that they sent a few samples to Chennai for forensic verification. “Though the shells were imprinted with ‘LTTE’ letters, we were not sure when those shells were manufactured. We have sent few shells to identify their manufacturing years,” he said.
He said that they had handed over all the shells and other materials to the Mettur sub-court for judicial custody. “We will keep all the materials under judicial custody until the case is completed. Then we will defuse them with the guidance of Tamil Nadu government’s explosive experts,” he added.
Between 1983 and 1985, LTTE personnel including its high command Prabhakaran conducted weapons training near Puliyur. (Times of India)