One more Global Terrorist from Kerala, This Time under the guise of a Hindu Swami!

published on May 8, 2008

Police conducts raids in Shanthitheeram Ashram

Pioneer News Service | Kochi

The Central Intelligence Bureau has started investigation into the presence of internationally wanted criminal, Santhosh Madhavan, after reports have come out about his presence in his home State under the guise of a Hindu Swami. The police conducted raids in the Shantitheeram Ashram, which is reportedly run by Santhosh Madhavan in the name of Swami Atmachaithnya. Certain local dailies had reported about the presence of the sanyasi in Kochi and that he was actually Santhosh Madhavan, wanted in several criminal cases in the State and across the country and even abroad for his alleged links with extremist elements.

Santhosh, who is wanted in the case related to the smuggling of guns to Mumbai from abroad, has evaded arrest and is considered one of the most dreaded operatives in gun trade. His accomplice Saifudden is also wanted in several cases.

Santhosh, who is a native of Kattapana in Idukki district, is considered to have close links with many dreaded organisations and is wanted by the Interpol and State police in cases related to smuggling of arms and drugs.

A police team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police PI Varghese conducted the raids in the ashram premises but could not get many details. The inmates of the ashram were questioned but they were not aware about the operations of Santhosh.

Police officers told The Pioneer that Santhosh was also wanted in a case related to instigating communal riots in certain parts of the country.

The police will also probe into the high level contacts Santhosh have and there are reports of the presence of some senior police officers in his marriage function recently.

The police have also conducted raids in the ashram where he is reportedly staying for the time being under the guise of a sanyasi. The ashram authorities have, according to police officials, did not give any tips on the identity of the swami and his antecedents.

Sleuths from the Central Information Bureau and RAW are in Kochi to investigate into the links of Santhosh and his properties. The DRI authorities from Kozhikode on condition of anonymity, told The Pioneer that he was holding huge properties even in Kochi and its suburbs and that he was considered to be a major threat to the internal security of the country.The police are also verifying the veracity of an area of 150 acres of land which he has purchased in Idukki district. It is also searching for the presence of some internationally wanted suspects in this area. People in many parts of Idukki and its suburbs have been questioned by the police and there are possibilities of the sleuths getting some prize catches.

A top police officer on condition of anonymity told The Pioneer, “This has to be taken as a secret operation and has to be conducted in military like precision. Reports in media will do more damage to the cause of the police and the State”.

The police are also verifying whether he has any links with the real estate mafia in the State and also the current issue of counterfeit currencies. The Central agencies are also probing into whether he has any ulterior motive in his visit to places like Mumbai and other north Indian States. The recent arrest of a Keralite software engineer from Bangalore and the reported involvement of Santhosh Madhvan in the gun smuggling case are reasons for worry to the security agencies, both in the State and the Centre.

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