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Chennai: The CB CID sleuths probing the 'disappearance' of environmental activist R.S. Mugilan, who involved himself actively in anti-Sterlite protests and other pro-people movements, has informed the Madras High Court on Thursday that they have got vital clues in the case.

A status report on the ongoing investigation was filed before the court by the probe team, even as Mugilan's kin and opposition parties questioned the credibility of the probe which confined itself to 'harassing' those close to Mugilan instead of carrying out a credible inquiry.

The pro-dalit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol. Thirumavalavan lately denounced the 'harassment' of Mugilan's family members by the probe team even as he demanded the police to disclose whether the activist is alive and produce him in the court. The CPI this week organised a protest at Valluvarkottam in Chennai demanding to trace the 'missing' activist.

The probe team informed the high court its disinclination to place the details about the probe in public domain as it would affect the investigation. The court accepted the claim and ordered the probe team to submit its next status report within three weeks, sources said.

Mugilan alias Shanmugham went missing on February 15 this year shortly after he claimed involvement of senior police officers in the police firing at anti-Sterlite protesters at Tuticorin on May 22 and 23 last year, which claimed the lives of 13 people.

The state government has ordered CB-CID probe following repeated pleas by activists and political parties to trace the missing activist.

Mugilan was last seen by his friends at Egmore railway station where he was expected to catch a train to Madurai at around 10.30 pm. Earlier that day he held a press conference wherein he accused senior police officers --inspector general of police, South Zone, Sailesh Kumar Yadav and deputy inspector general of police, Tirunelveli Range, Kapil Kumar Saratkar--of their role in Tuticorin firing.

The executive director of Madurai -based People's Watch, Henri Tiphagne had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Madras high court seeking to trace Mugilan.

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