Malleswaram blast suspects wanted for TN murders, too

Police suspect they killed two politicians in July

Malleswaram blast suspects wanted for TN murders, too

The Special Investigation Division (SID) formed by the Tamil Nadu government to investigate the recent murder of two politicians — belonging to the BJP and the Hindu Munnani — has zeroed in on four men, of whom three are also prime suspects in the April 17 Malleswaram blast case.

Tamil Nadu police have launched a manhunt for Panna Ismail, 38, of Melapalayam, Tirunelveli district, Police Fakhruddin, 35, and Bilal Malik, 25, both from Nelpettai, Madurai — all three key suspects in the Malleswaram case — and Abubacker Siddique, 45, from Nagore.

In a press statement, they also announced a reward of Rs five lakh for information on each of the four suspects.

S Vellaiyappan, 45, a Hindu Munnani leader, was hacked to death by a gang of about eight men when he was on his way to Ramakrishna Ashram in Vellore on July 1.

Barely three weeks later on July 19, Ramesh, 52, a chartered accountant and general secretary of BJP, Tamil Nadu, was similarly murdered in front of his office in Salem.

Protesting the targeted killings of its leaders and the State’s “inaction,” the Tamil Nadu BJP unit called for a statewide shutdown on July 23. Chief Minister J Jayalalitha later formed the SID to investigate the murders. In its investigation, the SID suspected that the “nameless but well-organised” module, formed seemingly from the remnants of the proscribed terror outfit, Al-Ummah, had executed the killings.According to unconfirmed sources, the SID sleuths have already questioned the Malleswaram blast suspects lodged in the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara. But senior officers investigating the case have refused to comment.

Ismail, the alleged kingpin of the module, is suspected to be the bomber who parked the explosive-laden bike in Malleswaram on April 17. He is also the prime suspect in the two murders.In an affidavit submitted to the High Court, Omkaraiah, the investigating officer in the Malleswaram case, quoted the eyewitness and police personnel as saying that there were “a lot of similarities” between Ismail and the alleged bomber. Kichan Buhari, who has been arrested by the police, also allegedly pointed fingers at Ismail.

Investigators quoted Buhari as saying that it was Ismail who gave him Rs 50,000 towards “expenses.”

On the other hand, detailed sketches were prepared of the two persons who reportedly purchased the old bike from Gopi, a mechanic from Vellore. The bike was later used to plant the explosives, investigators claim. The affidavit states further that “it is found to bear similarities with two persons — Fakhruddin and Bilal.”

The probe by Tamil Nadu police suggests the module was still active as Bangalore police launched a manhunt for the three men.

A senior Bangalore police officer handling the case told Deccan Herald on the condition of anonymity that the suspects were being traced. The SID was also after them.
Investigators have definite clues about their whereabouts and a major breakthrough as well as a few arrests were expected soon, the officer added.

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