Three of four men named by the Tamil Nadu Police this week as prime suspects in the July 19 killing of a BJP state general secretary in Salem,and the July 1 killing of a Hindu Munnani leader in Vellore,are also key suspects of the Karnataka Police in the April 17 bombing outside the BJP office in Bangalore.
The three men Panna Ismail,38,Police Fakruddin,35 and Bilal Malik,25 were named along with Abu Backer Siddique,45,by the Tamil Nadu DGP in a July 24 press statement on the investigations into the Salem and Vellore killings which has led to a furore in the Tamil Nadu BJP.
The four men,including two who are linked to the proscribed Tamil Nadu terror outfit Al Ummah,were named after a Special Investigation Division created by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa began investigating the July murders.
The TN special investigation unit,which has announced a total reward of Rs 20 lakh for the arrest of the four men,has also suggested that they may have been involved in a 2011 pipe bomb attack in Thirumangalam targeted at BJP leader L K Advani.
The SID is making efforts to trace the absconding persons involved in the 2011 Thirumangalam pipe bomb planting case to question them in connection with these murders, the TN police statement said.
Earlier this year,the Bangalore Police had zeroed in on Ismail,Fakruddin and Malik as the chief perpetrators of the bomb blast at the BJP headquarters.
Relying on CCTV footage from the blast site,the Bangalore police have in court documents identified Ismail as the man who possibly planted the bomb which wounded 16 people.
Ismail,Fakruddin and Malik have also been named in court documents by the Bangalore Police as the main men responsible for planning the blast.
The men identified by the Tamil Nadu police as being wanted in the recent murders in that state are men wanted by the Bangalore Police in the BJP office blast case as well, Bangalores additional commissioner of police (crime),Pranav Mohanty,said.
Police and security agencies are trying to fathom the motive behind the rise in Tamil Nadus BJP and Hindutva leaders being targeted by suspected Islamist radicals who in the 1990s were linked to proscribed state groups such as Al Ummah,the All India Jihad Committee and the Islamic Defence Force which were targeting sangh parivar leaders.
We do not know what the motive is behind these targeted attacks or who is motivating it. It could be to accentuate communal tensions, a senior police officer said.