A low-intensity blast took place on the premises of judicial magistrate court in Malappuram, in north Kerala, on Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured; three cars were left partially damaged. The police recovered a pamphlet from the blast scene, which attributed the attack to “Base Movement”, an outfit suspected to be involved in earlier low-intensity blasts at court complexes in Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh) on April 7 this year, Kollam (Kerala) on June 15, Mysuru (Karnataka) on August 1 and Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) on September 12.
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One of the statements in English, typed on a map of India, appeared to state that it was to avenge the killing of Mohammed Akhlaq, the western UP man killed allegedly for eating beef. The note ends with a warning: “count your days.’’ It has a photograph of Osama bin Laden.
DGP Loknath Behera said Tuesday’s blast bears similarity to the earlier ones, and the police will seek assistance of central agencies in the probe.
Based on remnants picked from the blast site, it appears that a pressure cook bomb with a timer was used, an officer said. Ammonium nitrate is believed to have been used.
Analysis of the remnants of explosive devices at each site has revealed striking similarities in assembling of the bombs, suggesting handiwork of one group in the separate incidents.
One of the reasons to suspect involvement of Base Movement in all these blasts is the similarity in the messages left at each site. The message, written in broken English, found at the Mallapuram blast scene Tuesday is similar to a Base Movement note sent to the authorities in AP’s Chittoor region shortly after the blast at Chittoor court complex on April 7. The letter stated that the blast was carried out to avenge the killing of five Muslim men linked to SIMI in an alleged fake police encounter in Warangal region on April 7, 2015.
A Base Movement’ note was received by the office of D N Narasimha, additional chief secretary to Karnataka CM, in January 2015. The message, in broken English, said Basement Movement will start its activities in 2015. Investigation found the mail had originated in Coimbatore’s Ukkadam town.
Another similar letter with the same characteristics was received by French consulate in Bengaluru on January 14 this year before French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India. Investigations led police to Velachery in Chennai before the trail went cold.
Investigations by Kerala police into the Kollam court blast on June 15 had suggested that a group called Base Movement, comprising former members of a banned Tamil Nadu terror outfit called Al Ummah and other local groups, could be involved.
Recent investigations by Bengaluru police into activities of Al Ummah had also revealed that it had revived itself under the Base Movement banner, with allegiance to Al Qaeda and joining hands with a few regional outfits in south India.