3 arrested in Bangalore blast case, two brought to the city
In a joint operation by the city and Tamil Nadu police, three persons have been arrested in Chennai and Madurai in connection with last week's blast near BJP office here that left 16 persons injured.
"We have arrested three persons with the help of Tamil Nadu police. We have brought two of them here. The third accused is on his way", Bangalore Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar told reporters here.
To a question on the names of the duo and whether they had been produced before a court, he said "naturally that is mandatory." He refused to divulge their names or whether they were produced in Chennai court or here.
However, police sources in Chennai identified the two persons arrested from a lodge in Chennai as Peer Mohideen and Basheer, both hailing from Tirunelveli.
The third person was arrested from Madurai, Tamil Nadu police said, adding the trio facilitated the blast while the main culprits were still at large.
A Madurai report identified the third person as 36-year-old Kichan Bukari, an activist of banned Al-Umma, who was picked up at the central bus stand there when he was on his way to Tirunelveli from Chennai.
He was also a convict in the case relating to the 1998 serial bomb blasts in Coimbatore that claimed 58 lives and left more than 200 injured during the visit of senior BJP leader L K Advani to the city to address an election rally.
Bukari, hailing from Melapalayam in Tirunelveli district, had undergone 10 years jail term in the blast case, a report from Coimbatore said. He was also sentenced to life in three murder cases against him but released by Supreme Court.
It also said a special police team from Chennai was expected to interrogate one Saddam Hussain, lodged in the Coimbatore Central Prison.
Hussain, arrested in connection with an assault case in a marriage hall recently, was suspected to have been instrumental in getting the motorcycle to Bukari, which was used to place the explosives, police sources said.
A police team from Karnataka was also likely to reach the city in this connection, they added.
Four men were recently detained in Kerala for their alleged involvement in the case.
Karnataka government had announced a reward of Rs five lakh to those who provide information on the culprits allegedly involved in the April 17 blast which occurred just as the state is headed towards the May 5 Assembly polls.