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Arrested two days ago for his suspected involvement in the 2013 blast outside the BJP head office in Bengaluru, a former member of a Tamil Nadu-based proscribed extremist outfit, Al Ummah, is also being probed for his possible links to the August 1 blast at a Mysuru court complex.
Mohammed Ali Khan Kutty, 45, a resident of Coimbatore who is named as accused number 18 in a chargesheet in the BJP office blast case, had been at large for the past three years. He was arrested on August 16 by the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch.
Earlier, Kutty was acquitted in the 1998 Coimbatore blast case in which he was accused of being a conduit for supplying explosives to the Al Ummah men accused in the attack.
The Bengaluru Police began fresh efforts to track down Kutty this month in the wake of the Mysuru court blast in which the role of former members of Al Ummah, and a few other regional groups who have allied under the umbrella of an outfit called the Base Movement, is being probed.
Base Movement’s role in the Mysuru blast was suspected on account of a mail sent in the name of the group claiming credit for an almost identical blast that occurred on April 7 at a court complex in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh.
A similar blast had also occurred in a district court complex in Kollam in Kerala on June 15.
Kutty was arrested from the Sathyamangalam region bordering Karnataka and is being investigated for links to the Mysuru blasts on account of his association with an organisation called the Charitable Trust for Minorities (CTM), which was implicated in the 2013 BJP office blast.
“Some people linked to the CTM are suspected to be in the Base Movement group,’’ sources said.
While probing the 2013 BJP office blast, the Bengaluru Police had named CTM as a key part of the conspiracy. CTM was set up as a charitable trust in Tamil Nadu in 2010 to help Al Ummah members accused in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts in fighting their legal battles.
In documents placed along with the chargesheet in the 2013 BJP office blast case, the police alleged that Rs 1.5 lakh in funding for the blast was sourced from the CTM by the main accused, Kichan Buhari, a former Al Ummah member who was also an office-bearer at the CTM.
Kutty is also named in the case as being among the key functionaries of the CTM along with a still elusive suspect, Abu Backer Siddiqui.
The CTM, according to police records in the case, was created by a splinter group of the Al Ummah after the Al Ummah founder S A Basha, who was also incarcerated in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts case, was found to have been using organisation funds to fight his own legal battle while ignoring dozens of others arrested in the case that killed 58 persons ahead of an L K Advani rally.
One of the accused in the BJP office case had claimed that the CTM played a central role in funding several radical groups in Tamil Nadu, including remnants of the SIMI and smaller regional groups with radical leanings. The CTM was found to have been receiving funds from sympathisers in the Gulf.