CHENNAI: Continuing its investigation into the blasts at court premises across south India, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) reportedly arrested two more persons from Madurai on Tuesday.
Sources in the district police confirmed one arrest, while details are not clear about the second person.
The arrests came a day after the agency’s Kochi Unit nabbed four alleged members of 'Base Movement', a little known Islamist outfit that had claimed responsibility of the blasts at Kollam and Malappuram in Kerala, Chittoor and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, and Mysuru in Karnataka on a tip-off.
The previously arrested terror suspects have been identified as Abbas Ali, a painter by profession who also runs a library named ‘Darul Ilm’ at Madurai, Suleiman- the alleged master mind behind the blast, Samsum Karim Raja-a B.Com graduate who runs a chicken shop at Kannimara Koil street in Madurai.
Another person named Ayub Ali, also a resident of Madurai was detained for questioning, however it was not confirmed if he is one of the arrested.
Of the four, the alleged ring leader, an employee with a leading Indian IT company, was caught in Chennai. The three others arrested from Madurai will be presented before a local court in Melur later today.
The arrested members are also expected to be taken to the court in Karnataka where the Mysuru blast case is registered. The NIA is investigating this case, while the rest of the blast cases are probed by local police forces in those states.
Five bomb blast incidents were reported in southern India this year, and all of them had targeted courts. The equipment and the materials used in all the cases bore resemblance, indicating that the gang had the same modus operandi.
In all cases, the investigating officials state that pressure cookers, timers, gunpowder and Potassium Chlorate were used for engineering the blast. The investigating officials stated it to be Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). All of them were low intensity bombs.
NIA had registered the Mysuru court complex blast case on 29 September this year under the sections 120B, 121, 121A of IPC, Section 3, 10, 13,15,16,18 and 20 of UA(P) Act, 1967, section 3, 4 and 5 of Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. However, local police are yet to receive information in this regard.
April 7: At around 12 PM, a bomb placed in a TVS scooter by unidentified individuals went off in the parking area of Chittoor court premises. Two were injured in the incident. Initially investigating officials suspected that Chandrasekhar alias Chintu, the prime accused in the double murder of Chittoor mayor Katari Anuradha and her husband Katari Mohan was the target of the bomb blast but later police ruled it out.
June 15: At around 10.30 AM a suspected country-made 'steel bomb' kept under an unused jeep exploded at the collectorate-cum-district courts complex injuring a 61-year old man.
August 1: Two people escaped with minor injuries after a low intensity bomb exploded outside the district court at 4 PM.
September 12: A low intensity bomb exploded in Nellore court premises at 2 PM. No one was injured in the incident.
November 1: An explosive went off inside a parked vehicle on the premises of judicial first class magistrate court in district court complex at 1 PM.