Lankan Minister row: Chennai awaits Centre’s response

Chennai police is awaiting centre`s response on controversial Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda.

Chennai: City police have conveyed to their Delhi counterpart details about a 1986 murder case against Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda, now on a visit to India as
part of the Presidential delegation, and are awaiting their response, a top police officer said Friday.

"We are still awaiting the response from the Delhi police. We have informed them that he (Devananda) is a proclaimed offender in the country," Police Commissioner T
Rajendran told reporters here.

Chennai police had sent a message to its Delhi counterpart informing them about three criminal cases, including the 1986 murder case, pending against Devananda, who was then the military wing head of the Eelam People`s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF).

The murder case is related to the death of a city resident in a gunfire from the EPRLF office here. Devananda, arrested and released on bail then, had been declared a proclaimed offender by a sessions court in 1994.
Rajendran said Chennai police had given details of the cases registered in the city against him to the Delhi Police.

He declined to comment on reports quoting Ministry of External Affairs officials that Devananda was not on any "watch list" in the country.

Asked whether the former EPRLF leader would be arrested, he said "I can`t predict that."
Devananda, who is accompanying Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on his visit, has yesterday said all political leaders were pardoned as per the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka
pact but he was ready to face legal action, if any.

A petition has been filed by a pro-Sri Lankan Tamils forum in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Centre to arrest the visiting Minister. It will come up for hearing later in the day.


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