After 42-hour search, police recover weapon, ammunition from drainage

The Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Crime Branch–CID on Wednesday arrested Mohammed Ansar (38) of Coimbatore and recovered a 7.65 mm pistol and 53 rounds of ammunition that was dumped by his family in drainage. The recovery came after a 42-hour-long search in the drainage in Arul Nagar in South Ukkadam area of Coimbatore.

He is the sixth suspect to be secured by the SID after the arrest of five from Melappalayam, leading to the recovery of 17 kg of explosives. One of the five arrested on July 27, Mohammed Thasin of Melappalayam had confessed that he met Kitchan Buhari in Bangalore Central Prison (lodged in connection with the Malleswaram blast). Kitchan Buhari asked Thasin to take custody of his pistol from Mohammed Bashir. With Thasin identifying Bashir, SID sleuths questioned him as well.

Bashir told the police that the weapon was with Mohammed Ansar (38) of Arul Nagar in Ukkadam. When they secured Ansar and questioned him, he told them that the weapon was given to him by Mann alias Suleiman of Karumbukkadai.

On coming to know that the police were on the lookout for him, Ansar went into hiding after handing over the weapon to his wife Yasida. Yasida told the SID that she along with her father I. Mohideen (53) packed the weapon and the ammunition and threw it into the drainage.

The pistol had ‘Made in USA Auto’ marking and 53 rounds of ammunition, all wrapped in multiple layers of polythene.

Preliminary enquiries are on with the suspect to ascertain whether he was a member of the “sleeper cell” (wing of the fundamentalists to provide logistical assistance such as cellular phones, weapons, cash and shelter) to squad members who are given specific “Jihadi” assignments.

With the recovery of Rs 6.01 lakh from Samsudeen in Melappalayam two days ago, SID sleuths have found out that one Katta Shahul had given the money to Samsudeen and the funds were meant for the expenses in connection with Jihadi assignments, SID sources added.

With the arrest of six accused in Melappalayam, recovery of explosives and the links these accused have with Kitchan Buhari, SID sleuths and their Karnataka counterparts are stepping up their hunt for Paravai Basha, ‘Police’ Fakrudeen, Bilal Malik and Pannah Ismail, as their role is suspected in the Bangalore blast.

Police suspect that they had some link with suspects in the recent murders in Vellore, Salem and Madurai.

The inquiries are also likely to throw light on the whereabouts of the 43 kg explosives sent as a second consignment (first consignment recovered at Melapalayam) to ‘Police’ Fakrudeen by Kitchan Buhari.

Part of the explosive consignment was used at Bangalore.