CHENNAI: Following the car blast in Coimbatore, BJP State president K Annamalai on Sunday released a 10-page statement refuting the director general of police’s (DGP) remarks and accusing the police of being lax in acting against suspects despite the Union government’s warnings.
He said the police failed to monitor the activities of ISIS sympathisers in general, and Jamesha Mubin, who died in the blast, in particular, despite a specific warning from the Centre. After the special branch acknowledged that the explosion was a suicide attack, he criticised the State for not labelling it a suicide attack or an act of terror.
On Saturday, the police issued a statement accusing Annamalai of diverting the probe, and a day later, the BJP leader refuted the statement and asked whether the State police chief was aware of a “special wing report” that said Mubin was an ISIS sympathiser.
Annamalai also accused the police of being lethargic in keeping track of ISIS sympathisers though the Union Home Ministry sent a warning to the State police before October 23, with the names of 96 ISIS-linked people who could carry out an attack in a crowded place.
Mubin’s name was 89th on the list. The former IPS officer also questioned how DMK spokesperson Rajiv Gandhi published the Union government’s warning about the possible terror attack on his social media profile.
Referring to Electricity Minister Senthil Balaji, Annamalai said someone completely unconnected with “this department” (Home) spoke about the issue. Stalin holds the Home portfolio. He also criticised Stalin’s silence, saying, “It has been seven days since the incident. That the chief minister is silent is known to all.”
In response to the police allegation that he was trying to divert the probe, Annamalai said, “We realise it is our responsibility to question the government as a constructive opposition and take the truth to the people. The police department has no right to say no to that.”
Too early to draw such conclusions, says DMK
Responding to Annamalai’s charges over calling the blast a suicide attack, DMK spokesperson R Rajiv Gandhi said a probe is on and it is too early to arrive at such conclusions.
He added that Annamalai is being politically immature and trying to keep the situation in Coimbatore volatile to prevent the city’s development. Until recently, Coimbatore was the most sought-after destination for a section of industrialists from Bengaluru, he said.
Responding to Annamalai’s allegation that a minister with no connection to the Home department spoke about the blast, power minister V Senthilbalaji said he has been appointed as a minister in charge (for Coimbatore district)