CHENNAI: A trial court has extended the judicial custody of the 10 accused in the case relating to the murder of Ramalingam of Thiruvidaimarudhur in Thanjavur district, by another 90 days.
CSS Pillai, a special public prosecutor for NIA, sought an extension of detention for 10 of the 16 accused men up to 180 days under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The nature of the injury was similar to that in “Jihadi” attacks which were reported in several States and it has to be probed further whether the accused have any other involvement with ISIS or any other terror organisations, the prosecutor argued.
While 10 accused are in judicial custody, six others are absconding, said the prosecutor.
In the petition submitted by the prosecution, it also said that Ramalingam removed the skullcap worn by one of the preachers and put ‘vibhuti’ (sacred ash) on his forehead. The situation was, however, peacefully resolved with the help of local villagers.
Ramalingam was attacked on February 5, 2019. The accused used sickles and tried to chop off his hands, grievously injuring him in the process. His son’s efforts to protect him from the attackers were in vain.
HRamalingam was pronounced dead at a government hospital.
The NIA also highlighted from a statement of the witness, “That the conspiracy was hatched between the accused and they had to do away with deceased Ramalingam as he was against the Muslim people who are indulging in forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam.”
Denying the allegations, counsel for the accused, submitted that all the 10 have been falsely implicated by NIA. Counsel also argued that Popular Front of India was not a banned organisation in Tamil Nadu, contrary to claims made by the prosecution.