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TN govt told to withdraw POTA cases

May 02, 2005 18:30 IST

The Review Committee on Prevention of Terrorism Act has directed Tamil Nadu to close two separate cases against Tamil National Movement leaders, including its chief, P Nedumaran.

In the first case, the committee cleared Nedumaran and four others from the allegation that their speech delivered on April 13, 2002 in Chennai amounted to supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, banned under POTA.

In the second case, the panel held that the Tamil Nadu government was not justified in invoking POTA against TNM general secretary Paranthaman for his alleged interview to a private channel criticising the Jayalalithaa government for its stand against the Tamil Tigers.

While asking the Tamil Nadu government to withdraw the charges under POTA against Nedumaran, Suba Veerapandian (then spokesman of Marumalarchi Dravidsa Munnetra Kazhagam), Paavanan alias Pudukottai Paavanan, Thayappan and Shahul Hameed, the panel said "there is no prima facie case against them."

"In the material placed before the committee, there is nothing to suggest that the accused had in any manner, been involved in any act of violence which leads to terrorism. In these circumstances, sympathy or verbal support for the cause of Eelam Tamils does not mean support for the ideology or methodology adopted by LTTE," a three-member committee headed by Justice Usha Mehra said.

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