Almost six months after the murder of Ramalingam, a Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) functionary in Kumbakonam, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against 18 persons. All 18 persons are allegedly associated with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
According to a press statement released by the NIA, the chargesheet was filed on Friday in the NIA Special court in Chennai under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The 18 accused in the case, on whom chargesheet has been filed are Mohamed Asarudeen (26), Mohamed Riyas (27), Nijam Ali (33), Sarbudeen (61), Mohamed Rizwan (23), Mohamed Thoufik (25), Mohamed Farvees (26), Thowheeth Batcha (26), Rahman Sadiq (39), Mohammad Ali Jinna (34), Abdul Majith (37), Bhurkhanudeen (28), Shahul Hameed (27), Nafeel Hasan (28), Mohamed Faruk (47), Myden Ahamed Shali (50) and Mohammed Ibrahim (50) from Thanjavur, and Mohamed Hasan Kuthous (32) from Karaikal.
Ramalingam was fatally attacked and killed near Thiruvidaimarudhur in Thanjavur district on February 5, 2019. According to the FIR filed by the police, he was allegedly killed for interfering in the religious propagation activity carried out by some Muslims in the Pakku Vinayagam Thoppy village in Thiruvidaimarudhur on the morning of the murder. The NIA took over the case from the Tamil Nadu police on April 25, 2019.
â€śInvestigation has revealed that accused persons, after victim Ramalingam had an altercation with the dawah team of PFI on the morning of 5th February, 2019 at Pakku Vinayagam Thopu village, hatched a criminal conspiracy and attacked Ramalingam, causing his death, with the intention of terrorising people and deterring anyone from further interfering in the religious propagation activity of the PFI/SDPI. The killing of Ramalingam, had caused communal disharmony and created terror in the minds of a section of people,â€ť reads NIAâ€™s statement in the chargesheet.
The statement also mentions that all the accused had roles in the gruesome murder of Ramalingam. While a few of the accused were involved directly in the attack, some of them worked as informers who tracked Ramalingamâ€™s movements. The 18 men who have been chargesheeted includes those who provided vehicle for the assailants, and the man who had provided shelter to them. It also includes those who had planned, coordinated and supervised the execution of the crime.