RAMANATHAPURAM: The ‘Q’ branch police claimed to have solved the mysterious case of a boat that was seized from Kannupadu near Thankatchimadam last week with the arrest of six Sri Lankan Tamils, including four of a family, here on Thursday. Cops also seized eight kg ganja from them.
Last week, the ‘Q’ branch officials had seized an abandoned fibre glass boat and were on the lookout for the travellers. On Thursday, the officials picked up on suspicion six persons loitering around the area.
Interrogations revealed that Prasath (25), of Thalaimannar, Sivasudhrasan (27), his daughter Silosini (6), father-in-law Manickam (54), aunt Salomai alias Nallammal (59) and Navarathinam alias Ramesh (43), of Kilinochi and Mannar respectively, were awaiting a boat to make a return journey after entering India illegally last month.
Sources said that Sivasudhrasan had reached Rameswaram on September 14, along with his daughter Silosini, after a domestic dispute. The father-daughter duo came up to seventh islet, from where they shifted on to an Indian fishing boat.
Later, Sivasudhrasan travelled to Chennai without any hindrance. After his temper cooled down, he contacted his wife Sumithra, asking her to make arrangements for his return. Sumithra engaged a boat, comprising Prasath and her father Manickam as crew, and sent them to India. Meanwhile, Sivasudhrasan managed to contact his aunty Salomai, an inmate of the Namakkal refugee camp, and one Ramesh, of Tiruvallur camp, and convinced them to come with him. When the boat arrived at the pick-up point, the group left for Kunthukal. However, they had to abandon the boat after it developed a snag. The boat was later seized.
Meanwhile, all the travellers moved to Vadipatti near Madurai and stayed at a church. Though Sivasudhrasan, Manickam and Prasath returned to Kannupadu the next day to repair the boat, they fled after noticing a police team in the vicinity.
Later, all the six came to Chennai, where they learnt that their boat had been seized by the ‘Q’ branch, following which Sivasudhrasan asked Sumithra to arrange for another boat. On October 8, all the six returned to Madurai by a train and reached Rameswaram the next day.
However, they were detained while waiting for the boat. The police team also recovered eight kg ganja from them. The detenus reportedly told police that they were trying to smuggle the contraband to Lanka, as the narcotic was high in demand there.