Major police op in Chittoor; two held

Major police op in Chittoor; two held

 An 11-hour operation on Saturday by security forces at Puttur, a small town in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, culminated in the arrest of  two prime suspects in the April 17, 2013, Malleshwaram bomb blasts case.

It was a joint operation by the Tamil Nadu Police and an elite counter-terror force from Andhra Pradesh. Bilal Mallik (25) from Nelpettai, Madurai and Panna Ismail (38) from Melapalayam, Tirunelveli, were staying at rented accommodation in Puttur.

The operation began in the early hours of Saturday at Medara street in Puttur.

It turned into a battle of nerves as Bilal and Panna attacked the police with knives to resist arrest.

“The two persons inside the house attacked an inspector of the Tamil Nadu Police with sharp weapons, causing him grievous injuries. He was rescued by other officers and in the process, one round was fired by the police in self-defence to avert further attacks on the inspector,” Tamil Nadu Director-General of Police

K Ramanujam told Deccan Herald. The officer is recovering at a private hospital in Chennai.
Soon, a team of Octopus (Organisation for Counter-Terrorist Operations) commandos from Hyderabad joined the Tamil Nadu and Chittoor police under the supervision of Chittoor SP Kranti Rana Tata.

They cordoned off the area and lobbed tear gas shells inside the house. Bilal and Panna were taken to Chennai in an ambulance.

H M Omkaraiah, investigating officer of the Malleshwaram blasts case, described the arrests as a major breakthrough.

Though 14 arrests have already been made in the case, Bilal and Panna were the first among the alleged masterminds to have landed in police net.

They were also wanted by the Tamil Nadu Police for the recent murders of right-wing leaders S Veliyappan and S Ramesh.

Veliyappan, a Munnani leader, was hacked to death on July 1. Ramesh, state general secretary of the BJP, was murdered on July 19 in Salem.

A special investigation division formed by the Tamil Nadu Police had identified them as prime accused in the murder cases and announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for any information on them.

Sources said the Tamil Nadu Police were led to the Puttur hideout by another terror suspect, Fakruddin (38), who was arrested in Chennai two days ago.

Fakruddin was also wanted in the Malleshwaram blasts case. The Andhra Pradesh Police claimed to have foiled an attempt to unleash terror on the Tirupati “Brahmotsavam” with the arrests.

The Tamil Nadu Police, however, said they were planning to attack an “umbrella procession” in Chennai and not the Brahmotsavam in Tirupati.

The terror suspects had moved into the house a couple of months ago and introduced themselves as scarp merchants. It is learnt that they were seldom seen during the day.

Comments (+)