COIMBATORE: The city police, based on a tip-off from Central intelligence agencies, arrested five Muslim youth for allegedly hatching a plot to murder Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) leader Arjun Sampath and his son Omkar Balaji, on Saturday night. Four of them were already on the radar of the Central intelligence agencies when they showed up at Coimbatore Railway Junction; the fifth person had gone to the station to receive the other four.
A social media page was the only link between the four Chennai youth -- Jafar Safiq Ali (29) of Vysarpadi, Ismail (25) of Tindivanam, Samsudeen (20) of Pallavaram and Shalavuddin (25) of Pallavaram, and one Coimbatore boy -- Ashik (25) of Variety Hall Road. And the alleged plan to murder HMK leader Arjun Sampath and son Omkar Balaji.
Sources privy to the investigation told Express that the five had discussed ways to kill Arjun and had spread hatred against on social media, they had plans ready for Omkar as he was an easier target, given that the former had police protection. One of the five members was said to be a sympathiser of the Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir and a member of the banned terrorist organisation; two others from Chennai were members of political parties. Ashik was facing several cases, including kidnapping school girls, in the city. He had been under the radar of the city intelligence for his notorious activities but his radical activities had not come to light till now, sources added.
“Though these youth did not have any previous enmity with the leader, they were inspired by the IS module and other radical religious outfits and hatched a plot,” a senior official said.
Meanwhile, there were claims that the four youth had come to Coimbatore to attend a wedding. However, police confirmed that they were not even invited to a wedding but had come to meet in person and find ways to kill the leader before the upcoming Vinayagar Chathurthi.
‘Threats to Omkar came a couple months ago’
After Coimbatore City Police arrested five youth -- one from the city and four from Chennai -- for reportedly plotting to kill Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) leader Arjun Sampath and son Omkar Balaji, sources in the city intelligence confirmed that Omkar had indeed received death threats two months ago.
After top officials in the city police were alerted in early July, people who were considered a threat to him were closely watched.
According to an intelligence personnel, in the aftermath of the murder of Hindu Munnani functionary C Sasikumar, Balaji had reportedly taken to social media and called for people to act against a particular community. It was from then that he had received threats on social media.