Charitable trust served as terror front, say police

Charitable trust served as terror front, say police

The charge sheet submitted by the City police in the Malleswaram bomb blast case has claimed that most of the men involved in the incident were members of the now-proscribed Al-Ummah organisation.

The dossier, however, says the accused were careful not to identify themselves with Al-Ummah after it was banned by the Tamil Nadu government following the Coimbatore serial bombings in 1998.

The charge sheet also states that all the accused in the Malleswaram case belonged to Charitable Trust for Minorities (CTM), a non-governmental organisation in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

Main man

Kitchen Buhari, an accused, is said to have told the police that he was one of the main persons behind the formation of CTM, and that their group had carried out terror activities in the name of the organisation even after Al-Ummah had been banned.

But the trust, he said, put on a false front, claiming to provide legal and financial assistance to Muslims arrested in terror cases.

Buhari came to formally head the organisation three years ago when he shifted his base from his hometown Melapalayam to Coimbatore. The organisation was raising money in the form of donations from his community under the garb of helping Muslims suffering at the hands of the establishment.

The organisation was also politically active, cultivating support to its causes and activities among local Muslims. He has said CTM indeed enjoyed patronage from local politicians of the Muslim League and other organisations and they used the opportunity to protect themselves from police action.

Strategy

Buhari allegedly stated that hundreds of men were associated with CTM and some were even working as volunteers, but not all were privy to their conspiracy, or favoured jihad. Buhari has reportedly revealed that they often met separately and decided their strategy. He said his men had contacted the absconding former members of Al-Ummah and tried to recruit them for jihad. But senior police officials said it was not clear whether they were successful in the endeavour.

Buhari is said to have been involved in the 2011 pipe bomb case targeting Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani and also planned to kill Kutralnathan, a local advocate who took up cases on behalf of Hindu right-wing organisations. However, the module failed to kill him, police said.

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