The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge sheet against a man who allegedly threw two petrol bombs at the gate of the Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan in Chennai last year. The accused, identified as Vinoth alias Karukka Vinoth, has been involved in similar attacks on other government establishments in the past.
Motive behind the attack
According to the NIA, the accused hurled the petrol bombs at the Raj Bhavan Gate – 1 on October 25, 2023, intending to overawe the constitutional authority of the State Governor. The bombs caused an explosion and damaged the government property at the gate. The NIA said that the accused had stolen petrol from a bike in SM Nagar, collected empty liquor bottles to fill them with petrol, and walked up from Teynampet to Raj Bhavan to carry out the attack.
The police personnel on duty at the gate tried to stop the accused, but he threatened them and deterred them from discharging their duty. A case was initially registered at the Guindy Police Station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Explosive Substances Act 1908, and the Tamil Nadu Property (Prevention of Damages and Loss) Act, 1992. The NIA took over the case on November 10, 2023, and filed the charge sheet before the NIA Special Court at Poonamallee, Chennai on January 20, 2024.
Previous incidents involving the accused
The NIA said that this was the fourth incident involving the accused, who had a history of throwing petrol bombs at government establishments. Previously, he had targeted a Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) outlet in T. Nagar, the Teynampet police station, and the BJP Tamil Nadu State Head Office in Chennai. The NIA said that the accused was acting as a lone wolf and did not have any affiliation with any terrorist or extremist group.
The NIA also said that the accused was suffering from mental health issues and had been undergoing treatment at the Institute of Mental Health in Chennai. The NIA said that it had examined the medical records of the accused and had also sought the opinion of a psychiatrist regarding his mental condition. The NIA said that the accused was aware of the consequences of his actions and had committed the offences with a clear intention.
Reaction from the Raj Bhavan and the State Government
The Raj Bhavan had condemned the attack and had said that it was an act of cowardice and desperation. The Raj Bhavan had also said that the security arrangements at the premises were adequate and that the police had acted swiftly to apprehend the accused. The Raj Bhavan had expressed confidence in the investigation by the NIA and had hoped that the accused would be brought to justice.
The State Government had also denounced the attack and had said that it was an attempt to create fear and panic among the people. The State Government had said that it would not tolerate any violence or disruption of law and order in the State. The State Government had assured full cooperation to the NIA and had said that it would take all necessary steps to prevent such incidents in the future.