Coimbatore blast: Why did it take 4 days to bring in NIA, asks TN Governor

Coimbatore blast: Why did it take 4 days to bring in NIA, asks TN Governor

One of the six accused in the explosion case in Coimbatore confessed during interrogation that he met two men in a Kerala prison who had links with an ISIS group involved in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, police sources said on Friday (October 28).

Feroze Ismail confessed that he had met Mohammed Azharuddin and Rashid Ali, lodged in a prison in the neighbouring state and further questioning is on to ascertain the motive behind the meeting, they said.

Also read: Coimbatore blast case: Bomber’s target may have been a textile shop

Azharuddin and Ali are in jail in connection with a case against them in Kerala.

Five accused were taken to their houses and searches were carried out, police said.

In the meanwhile, police continued vehicle checks in the Coimbatore district and took into their custody unclaimed and abandoned motorcycles and cars parked on the roadside.

Also read: BJP trying to politicise Coimbatore car explosion: Senthil Balaji

Also, officials intensified vehicle checks at police and forest outpost locations on Tamil Nadu’s border with Kerala.

Police also stepped up searches on the premises of suspects in other parts of the state.

On 23 October, 75-kg of explosives, including potassium nitrate were seized from the residence of 29-year-old Jameesha Mubeen who was killed after a gas cylinder exploded in a car he was travelling. Mubeen is suspected to have played a key role in a conspiracy bid to carry out sabotage activities here.

The Deepavali eve explosion happened while he was moving past a temple in the car in the western textile city and he had tried to evade a police check post.

Six persons have so far been arrested in connection with the car explosion case and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken up the investigation following a recommendation by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.

More than 250 people were killed in the Easter bombings in 2019 in Sri Lanka.

TN governor reacts

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on Friday attributed the car explosion to an attempt to unleash a major terror attack.

The explosives found later and IED-making chemicals and what goes into them were enough to suggest that they had planned a series of attacks, Ravi said.

He said this while addressing a function at the JSS Institute of Naturopathy and Yogic Science and Hospitals near Coimbatore.

“The incident that happened a few days back in the district was an attempt to unleash a major terror attack. The question is when the Tamil Nadu police got the suspects within hours, why did it take more than four days to bring in the NIA,” he asked “Why did the decision-makers take over four days to call the National Investigation Agency after the police arrested the suspects in the blast…” wondered Ravi.

“Terrorists are enemies of all and friends of none. We know terrorists don’t work in isolation. They are a part of a larger network. What they were doing was part of a larger conspiracy. Coimbatore is a known place for terrorists hatching plots for a long time. They have been trained and taken to Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan,” he said.

“Those involved in the car explosion were on our radar in the past. Where did we miss? Did we lose our monitoring system,” asked Ravi.

“India is on the cusp of development and irreversibly moving forward. Our adversaries did not like our peaceful progress and the rise of India. But, they don’t have the capacity to take on this country now as they know the cost of that. They did Pulwama and got the message with a surgical strike,” he said.

“Now, they are trying to create problems within our country. And their most favourite tool is terrorism and thereby try to demoralise the country. It is a proxy war… the most sinister and secret way… We need to be very alert,” Ravi said.

The authorities must not go soft on terrorists and decisions must be taken quickly. When it comes to conflict resolution, there must be unison between Union and State, the Governor said.

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