Coimbatore blast accused arrested after 20 years 

Coimbatore blast accused arrested after 20 years 

N P Noohu alias Mankavu Rasheed was picked up from Kozhikode in Kerala on Monday by a Special Investigation Division of the Tamil Nadu Police, an official release said Tuesday. DH illustration

An accused in the 1998 Coimbatore serial bomb blast case, who was on the run for the past 20 years, has been arrested from his hideout in Kerala by the Special Investigation Department of the Tamil Nadu Police.

N P Noohu, who was declared a proclaimed offender by a court in Coimbatore, was arrested in Kerala on Monday evening on a specific intelligence input. Noohu, 44, also known as Mankavu Rasheed, has been absconding since the serial blasts that killed 52 people in February 1998.

"He has been declared as a proclaimed offender by the court. He is being interrogated," a press release from the Tamil Nadu Police stated.

The police had arrested 181 people, including Al-Umma founder S A Basha, but three people, including Noohu, were on the run for the past 20 years.

The serial blasts allegedly targeted senior BJP leader L K Advani when he came to Coimbatore for an election campaign. After spending 11 years, more than 100 people were acquitted in the case. Only 17 people were sentenced to life imprisonment.