Aug 29, Salem: A cache of weapons unearthed in a forest reserve in India had the symbol of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger terrorist group imprinted on them, Indian police officials have revealed.
Salem police have unearthed more than 100 hand grenades and land mines from Pacha Talamalai reserve forest near Puliyur in Mettur taluk on Tuesday night, the Times of India reported.
"We have seized more than 100 hand-grenades and landmines," a senior official from the investigation team told TOI. All the shells were unused and could be exploded if filled with gun powder, the police have said.
The weapons unearthed belonged to Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as the hand-grenades were found to be imprinted with LTTE logo, the police have said.
The officials also have 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 but upon inspection they have found that all the empty shells had 'LTTE' imprinted on them.
The police suspect 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.
The Salem district superintendent of police R Sakthivel has told TOI 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.
The police had handed over all the shells and other materials to the Mettur sub-court for judicial custody. The police will keep all the materials under judicial custody until the case is completed and will defuse them with the guidance of Tamil Nadu government's explosive experts, the police official has said
Between 1983 and 1985, LTTE personnel including their leader Prabhakaran had conducted weapons training near Puliyur.