Five more held in TN in blast case

Five more held in TN in blast case

Sleuths from the City Crime Branch, investigating the April 17 bomb blast in front of the State BJP office in Malleswaram, arrested another person from Coimbatore late on Sunday night.

The City police have also brought four prisoners, arrested in various cases and lodged
in the Salem prison, on a ‘prisoner on transit’warrant to the City and have arrested them in connection with the case.

With this, the total number of arrests made in connection with the blast has risen to nine. Sleuths from the CCB, in a late Sunday night operation in Coimbatore, arrested Sulaiman (alias Man Bhai). The four men brought on transit warrant have been identified as Rehmatullah, AsgarAli, Hakeem and Tenkasi Sulaiman.

All the five were flown to the City late Monday evening. They were later produced before Venkatesh R Hulagi, judge of the first ACMM court, along with the four earlier arrested, as their police custody was to end on Monday.

However, the judgeremandedall the nine in police custody for a day and adjourned the
case.They will be produced before the court on Tuesday.

Asenior investigation official told Deccan Herald that the new arrests were made based on independent investigations, following interrogation of the four arrested earlier.

Hesaid itwas a definite lead in the investigation that might lead to more arrests and hopefully crack the conspiracy behind the attack. He said all the five arrested now have a history of violence against Hindutva groups, a common thread in the first four arrests. Rehmatullah,an auto driver in Coimbatore, was arrested a month ago in connection with a rioting case. Asgar Ali, also an auto driver, and Hakeem, an upholster,were arrested in the last week of April in connection with the attack on Hindu
Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath. Police said Sampath’s housewas attacked with
petrol bombs in the second week of April.

Tenkasi Sulaiman, also an autodriver,was recently arrestedduringaprotest, for possessing petrol bombs. Sulaiman alias ManBhai was a fish seller in the Coimbatoremarket. Except Rehmatullah, all the others brought from Salemprison
were out of jail before April 17, when the blast occurred.

A senior official leading the probe told Deccan Herald that the investigation was still in a nascent stage and they were yet to identify the suspect who planted the bomb-laden bike in Malleswaram. The police are also yet to reconstruct the chain of events and the conspiracy.

He said all the arrested till now were from the lower middle class and do not have the financial resources to carry out such an attack. This leads to the conclusion that there are many more involved.

He refused to comment on the organisational affiliations of those arrested. Though some have an‘Al-Ummahpast’, he said they had not concluded that Al Ummah had regrouped.

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