While the police of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu States were on a manhunt for terror suspects belonging to the banned al-Umma, one of them named Police Fakruddin, who played a vital role in the Malleswaram bomb blast case in April this year, was living in Puttur, a town bordering Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for the past one-and-half years, before he was caught on Friday.

Soon after his arrest, which led to the nabbing of two associates — Bilal Malik and Panna Ismail — a team of police personnel led by a senior police official from Bangalore that left for Tamil Nadu, is camping in Chennai, awaiting their turn to grill the suspects, who were remanded to seven days in police custody.

According to the police, Police Fakruddin was living in a rented house in Medhar Colony close to the railway station in Puttur town. He was a scrap dealer. “He was living a secluded life and never used to talk to locals until Bilal Malik and his family arrived in the town and rented a house in the same locality about three months ago,” the police said, adding that they were never involved in any activity that would raise suspicion, the police said.

The police said Fakruddin, who played a vital role in supplying explosives for the Malleswaram bomb blast, was under constant surveillance.

Based on his information, a special team of AP police stormed into the house of Bilal Malik, where Panna Ismail was also holed up, near Puttur railway station and caught the duo after a fierce gun battle.

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