The National Investigation Agency (NIA) which is investigating the murder of Hindu activist Ramalingam has called the crime an act of terror, media outlets have reported.
Ramalingam is believed to have been murdered by radical Islamists after he fought against their attempts to religiously convert residents of a Hindu Dalit neighbourhood.
Ramalingam who ran a catering business in Tamil Nadu’s Tirubhuvanam was reportedly passing through a Muslim dominated neighbourhood a day later (7 February) when his van was intercepted by a car.
A four member gang came out of the car and attacked Ramalingam’s hands with sharp weapons before fleeing. He sadly did not survive the attack.
A total of eight people had been arrested in connection with the murder, they have been identified as S Nijam Ali, Sarbudeen, Rizwan, Mohamed Azarudeen and Mohamed Raiyaz, Mohammed Toufiq, Mohammed Parvez and Touhid Basha.
The NIA which is now investigating the case, recently conducted massive search operation in at least 20 locations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, including four PFI offices.
Subsequently, the NIA sought for an extended custody of the murder accused by arguing that the murder was a terrorist act apart from being a communally motivated crime.
The NIA has claimed that based on confessions by accused and witnesses, the former were indulging in JIhadi activities which requires to be probed further.
“The way of the injury is similar to the attack of 'Jihad' activities as found in similar cases which were reported in several states”, NIA report claimed. It added that the accused despite being unemployed had surplus cash which pointed towards a possibility of terror funding.
Thus, in order to probe the additional angles NIA sought an additional custody of 90 days which was approved by the special NIA court.