With the Tamil Nadu police refusing repeated requests over the last seven months to provide custody of four Al Ummah linked men — the main accused in the April 17, 2013 BJP office blast case — the Bangalore police has now written to top police officials in Tamil Nadu, requesting their co-operation in bringing investigations to a closure.
Despite warrants being issued for the production of the accused and repeated visits by officials investigating the blast case in which 18 persons were injured, the Tamil Nadu police — who had made the arrests — refused to provide their custody. As a result, the men are still being shown as absconding in a Bangalore court where a chargesheet was filed last October.
Three of the prime accused — Panna Ismail, Bilal Malik and Police Fakruddin — were arrested in October 2013 by the Tamil Nadu police from Nellore following a gun battle at their hideout. The fourth key accused, Shahul Hameed alias Parvai Basha – the alleged supplier of the explosives for the blast – was arrested in February 2014. Ismail, Fakruddin and Mallik are also linked to the July 19, 2013 killing of a BJP general secretary in Salem, the July 1, 2013 killing of a Hindu Munnani leader in Vellore and the bombing attempt on an L K Advani convoy in 2011.
Recently, Bangalore police were told the arrested men were back in judicial custody following investigations of the cases in Tamil Nadu and that the Bangalore police could obtain their custody after the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu on April 24. When, as per indications given by the TN police, an investigating officer of the case from Bangalore went to Tamil Nadu to obtain custody of the accused, the TN police refused to hand over the accused.
“In normal course when arrests are carried out by any agency in the country and an accused person makes statements indicating his role in offences elsewhere, it is common courtesy to inform concerned agencies of the arrest. In this case neither have the TN police provided information about the arrests nor have they allowed production of the accused in court,’’ an officer said.
While it was the joint effort of the Bangalore police and the Tamil Nadu CB CID that lead to the first arrests in the BJP office case being made on April 23, 2013, the co-operation went downhill subsequently.
Sources said Tamil Nadu police had given indications that they ant to capture another key accused in the cases in Tamil Nadu and Bangalore —Abu Backer Siddiquem — who has been missing since 1996, before handing over custody of the arrested men to the Bangalore police.