5 men arrested in connection with Kovai car explosion: Police

Those who were arrested on Monday have been identified as Mohammed Talka, Mohammed Azarudeen, Mohammed Riyas, Feroz Ismail, and Mohammed Navaz Ismail, the police official said.
Police gather evidence from remains of the car; (inset) Jemisha Mubee
Police gather evidence from remains of the car; (inset) Jemisha Mubee

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore City Police on Monday night arrested five persons who were in close links with the terror suspect, who died in car explosion near a temple in Coimbatore.

Police identified those arrested as Mohammed Thalka (25) and Mohammed Azarudeen (23) from Ukkadam, Mohammed Riyaz (27), Feroz IsmaiL (27) and Mohammed Navaz Ismail (26) of GM Nagar.

They were suspected to be in connection with A Jameesha Mubin (29) who died in the car explosion in front of Kottai Eswaran temple on Sunday early morning hours.

CCTV footage showed the men taking out a white sack with some unidentified object from the house of Mubin at HMPR Street in Kottaimedu area late at night. However, the five arrested men claimed ignorance of the stock in the sack as they claimed to just help him shift those items to his car.

Police carried out a search in their houses. Earlier, police have seized chemicals like potassium nitrate, aluminum powder, sulphur and charcoal used in making country bombs. Police also recovered nails and marbles from the place of blast pointing to a terror angle to the incident.

Meanwhile, a special team of police from Tamil Nadu is likely to inquire Mohammed Azharuddin lodged in Viyyur Central Prison in Kerala in a terror case. Sources said that Mubin met Azharuddin, who was a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, the alleged mastermind of 2019 Easter church bombings in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the NIA is expected to take over investigation into the case due to its terror ramifications.

The nine special teams of Tamil Nadu police have so far inquired more than 20 persons suspected to be in links with Mubin, who was under the police radar after NIA searched his house in 2019.

Police gather evidence from remains of the car; (inset) Jemisha Mubee
Kovai car blast: Take concrete measures to uproot terror, says OPS

'Intelligence failure': Annamalai slams DMK

Meanwhile, the BJP state unit raised a number of questions over the Sunday incident, and claimed police has not divulged the specifics regarding the seizure made at Jubeen's house.

The party's state president K Annamalai blamed "intelligence failure" for the incident and questioned why the police did not specify the reason for the arrest of the five persons and the IPC sections against them. Without divulging details, Annamalai said he has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the Sunday explosion.

"How long will it take for the Chief Minister to accept the Intelligence has failed...bring professionals back to the force...the Home department had solid professionals, with those good in counter-terrorism, prior to 2021," Annamalai said, addressing a press conference here. The DMK came to power winning the 2021 elections and chief minister M K Stalin holds the Home portfolio. After the DMK came to power, the priorities have changed, he indicated.

Annamalai expressed apprehensions if the Sunday explosion was some kind of a "suicide attack," and claimed the western region of the state, comprising the industrial city of Coimbatore among others, was in the radar of "the ISIS."

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