Three suspected operatives of the proscribed Tamil Nadu terror group, Al Ummah, were nabbed by the Chennai and Bangalore police in a joint operation on Wednesday, after a Chennai police investigation into the murder of Hindu Munnani general secretary K P Suresh Kumar led them to a hideout in central Bangalore.
The three detained persons have been identified as Mohammed Samiuddin, Abdul Shameem and Sadiq. Police sources claimed the trio are the main accused in the murder of Suresh Kumar in Chennai on June 18. A fourth person, who was at the house in Viveknagar in Bangalore where the trio had taken shelter, was also detained but his identity was not revealed.
Since the murder, the Chennai police have arrested several persons, including a man identified as Kaja Mohideen who is reported to have plotted the killing after Suresh Kumar’s alleged hate speech in Chennai in December last year.
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Police sources said the trio were associated with the Al Ummah, which has been involved in terror activities in Tamil Nadu for nearly two decades. They had been living in Bangalore for many months, police said.
“The Chennai police arrested them with the help of the Bangalore police. The accused have been taken to Chennai for further investigations,” Bangalore Police Commissioner M N Reddi said.
Nearly a dozen right wing leaders in Tamil Nadu associated with the BJP, RSS and the Hindu Munnani have been killed in the last two years. The role of old and new Al Ummah operatives in the killings was revealed in the course of investigations by the Bangalore police into the April 17, 2013 bomb blast at the BJP headquarters in Bangalore.
Three Al Ummah men — Fakruddin, Bilal Malik and Panna Ismail — who were allegedly involved in the blast case, were also found to be behind the July 2013 killings of Hindu Munnani general secretary S Vellaiyappan in Vellore and BJP state general secretary V Ramesh in Salem. Following pressure from the BJP, Chief Minister J Jayalalitha set up a special investigation team to probe the killings.
Fakruddin, Malik and Ismail, who were arrested in October 2013, are reported to have confessed their involvement in as many as six murders of right wing leaders since October 2012.
The Bangalore police have claimed that a a man identified as Abu Bakr Siddique plotted the attacks. Siddique, described as a “bomb maker and ideologue’’, has evaded arrest for over 15 years, despite being wanted in terror-related cases since the early 1990s.