Panna Ismail, one of the terror suspects nabbed by the police on Saturday, after a fierce gun battle in Puttur town of Andhra Pradesh, was the al-umma operative, who planted the bomb near BJP office in Bangalore, according to police.
Seventeen persons were injured in the blast at Malleswaram on April 17. Ismail (38) and his associate Bilal Mallik (25) were taken into custody by security forces after a high-adrenalin house intervention in Puttur. The third terror suspect, Fakruddin (38), was arrested by the police in Chennai on Friday. With Saturday’s arrests, the Bangalore police hope to reconstruct the sequence of events of the Malleswaram blast as the main suspects are now in custody.
A special team of Bangalore police will leave for Chennai shortly to question the trio. Efforts would also be made to take them into their custody to complete the investigation into the Malleswaram blast, police sources said.
The police had earlier arrested Basheer (30), Peer Mohiddeen (39) and Kichan Buhari (38) in connection with the Malleswaram blasts. In all, police picked up 11 other suspects for questioning in the terror case. An official said that it was challenging to track down the suspects as some of them were not using cell phones. At the time of the arrest of Basheer, Mohiddeen, and Buhari, the police had filed an affidavit in the court in May last naming Panna Ismail as the person who brought the explosive-laden motorcycle and parking it on Temple Street near BJP office. Panna Ismail is suspected to be the brain behind the banned jihadi outfit, Al-Umma, the affidavit said. The affidavit that two persons had bought the motorcycle used in the blast from a mechanic in Vellore. These two bore resemblance to Fakruddin and Bilal Mallik, who were arrested on Saturday.