( By Walter Jayawardhana)
A close relative of Soosai , the leader of Sea Tigers, marine wing of the LTTE and another hard core Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) member have been arrested by the Tamil Nadu authorities for building Indian Rupees 4.2 million worth boat in the South Indian state of Kerala.
Indian intelligence sources have indicated that the boat mostly finished in a Kerala boatyard near Kochin harbor was ordered to be built to beef up the now tottering power of the Sea Tigers who are engaged in gun and drug running across the narrow Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. They have lost many vessels in the ongoing conflict with the Sri Lankan security forces.
Tamil Nadu police authorities have identified the two men arrested as Premraj alias Raj alias Dorai Kutty (48) a close relative of Soosai and Diesel Kumar alias Kumar one of the 17 terrorists who took cyanide after Sri Lanka Navy arrested them in 1987 for gun running near Jaffna. Diesel Kumar?s 12 colleagues died after biting cyanide pills but Kumar was one of the five who survived and later released.
The arrests of the two were made on Monday by the Tamil Nadu Police on the information provided to them by the Intelligence Bureau.
Sources said Soosai relative Premraj was arrested while he was visiting his family in the Tamil Nadu city of Trichy. Diesel Kumar was later traced to anotherTamil Nadu city called Rmeshwaram , in which he took shelter in a refugee camp where many other Sri Lankan refugees were also housed.
Indian authorities believe that the two LTTE members were engaged in the boat building task through the Kerala boatyard, since Sea Tigers have received extensive damage by the Sri Lanka Navy and their sea power is tottering for the fist time since its inception.
The 70 feet long boat was almost finished by the boat yard when the Indian authorities took it into their custody. According to the Indian authorities, 2 Million was paid to the boatyard to build the vessel out of the full price 4.2 million as an advanced payment but the boat building contract aroused suspicions among Indian intelligence men. In fact, a boat yard in Kerala , instead of Tamil Nadu had been chosen to build the vessel to keep it out of any suspicion, by the Indian authorities.
According to information revealed by them Premraj who was a frequent visitor to the LTTE controlled area in Sri Lanka came under obligation to Sea Tiger leader Soosai, since Soosai helped to recover Premraj?s money, which he claimed was cheated by another man and fled to the Tamil Tiger controlled area. To return the favour, Premraj promised Soosai and another man named Raj alias Babu to help them build the boat through a boat yard in Kerala. Diesel Kumar who had been living in India later returned to Sri Lanka and after his marriage went back to India to resettle. Diesel kumar was assigned to take the boat across the sea from India, according to Police authorities.

Tamil Nadu Police said Premraj and Kumar have been arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for aiding and abetting the LTTE, which is a banned terrorist organization in India and the Indian Penal Code.

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