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Al Ummah man planted bomb near BJP office in Bangalore,say cops

Panna Ismail had jumped bail in mid-March in a terror case in Tamil Nadu.

Written by Johnson T A | Bangalore |
May 7, 2013 1:40:04 am

The Bangalore police have identified the person who probably parked the bomb-laden motorcycle near the BJP office in the city on April 17 as Panna Ismail,a former member of the banned Tamil Nadu terror outfit,Al Ummah. He had jumped bail in mid-March in a terror case in Tamil Nadu. Sixteen people,including 11 policemen,were injured in the blast.

In the court documents filed by the police,Ismail,a resident of Tirunelveli,Tamil Nadu,has been named in the list of 12 persons accused of carrying out the blast. While documents say that Ismail and two other Tamil Nadu men,Bilal Mallick and Fakruddin,are at large,the police have shown the arrests of nine others. Both Mallick and Fakruddin are linked to Al Ummah.

Sources said Ismail’s role was unravelled based on the interrogation of other suspects,especially former Al Ummah and All India Jihad Committee member Syed Mohammed Bukhari,once convicted for the 1998 Coimbatore blasts.

The police findings have been corroborated with enhanced CCTV footage from the blast spot. A private camera had captured grainy images of a man abandoning the motorcycle in which the bomb was planted six minutes before the blast.

The court papers say the conspiracy was hatched in September-October 2012. Sources said the plan might have took shape when the accused visited prison to meet former Al Ummah men. Among those arrested,four persons were in Tamil Nadu jails in connection with recent offences. They were arrested by the Bangalore police on body warrants issued by a local magistrate court.

Sadam Hussein,brother-in-law of Bukhari,was arrested on April 25 after bringing him on transit visa from the Coimbatore jail where he was lodged a few days in connection with a petty case. Hussein is suspected to have helped Bukhari source the motorbike used in the blast.

The police on Monday produced a man identified as Tenkasi Suleman alias Syed Suleman who was lodged in Salem Central Jail. The others who were produced on Monday were Azar Ali of Madurai,Valayar Hakeem of Tirunelveli,Rahmatullah of Coimbatore and Suleman alias Manbay. All of them are accused of handling ammonium nitrate-based power gel explosives used for the blast.

Sources said those who helped the main attackers with explosives later got themselves arrested in petty cases and landed in jails. The prison visit details of Ismail before he absconded also pointed to the names of some of the arrested men,sources said.

While the police are tight-lipped about the motive,sources hinted that the attack is in some way related to the jailing of Al Ummah ally and PDP leader from Kerala,Abdul Nasser Madani,in the 2008 Bangalore blast case under the BJP rule. Probe is on the check if Madani met any of the suspects when he went on parole to Kerala in March to attend his daughter’s wedding.

A tea vendor,Peer Mohideen,accused of harbouring the main attackers before the blast,was also produced in the court. Sunnath Basheer,Bukhari and Hussein too were produced. Both Bukhari and Basheer accused the police of torturing them in custody.

Bukhari alleged he was subjected to shock treatment. The court sought a medical examination report of the two from the police. Nothing untoward was found in Basheer’s report. More time has been sought to produce Bukhari’s medical report.

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