New Delhi, 21st September 2023: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has chargesheeted 13 persons in the Villianur (Puducherry) bomb blast case involving the assassination of a political functionary in a brutal attack.

Six motorcycle-borne assailants had, on 26th March 2023, hurled countrymade bombs at Senthul Kumaran in front of a bakery located at Villianur in the Puducherry union territory. The accused then attacked the victim with machetes, killing him on the spot.

The local Police had initially registered a case, which was handed over to NIA and re-registered as RC-06/2023/NIA/DLI on 29th April 2023.

The key conspirator in the case, Nithyanandam, was later arrested, along with his associates, identified as Vignesh, Siva Sankar, Raja, Pradap, Karthikeyan, Vengatesh, Rajamani, Ezhumalai, Kathirvel, Ramachandiran, Lakshmanan, Dhilipan and Ramanathan. All of them, except Ramanathan, have been Chargesheeted today by the NIA under various sections of IPC, Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act and UA(P) Act.

As per the NIA investigations in the case, the conspiracy to attack Senthil Kumaran was masterminded by Nithiyanantham with the aim to strike terror among the local people in Villianur and surrounding areas. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Nithiyanantham had formed a terrorist gang to fabricate countrymade explosives and had also organised the machetes to commit the brutal attack.

As part of the conspiracy, Nithiyanantham had sent Kathirvel to conduct surveillance on Senthil Kumaran in Villianur. After Senthil’s presence in the area was confirmed, the main accused sent the six assailants, Vignesh, Siva Sankar, Raja, Pradeep, Karthikeyan and Vengatesh, on three motorcycles to carry out the assassination.

After the fatal attack, the accused had hidden the vehicles and blood stained machetes used in the assassination, along with their blood stained clothes. Recovery of these items was made during investigations, on the basis of their disclosures.