Posters containing their photos were prominently displayed across Chittoor district two months ago

The two terrorists Bilal Malik and Panna Ismail owing allegiance to Al-Umma outfit might have successfully avoided police attention during their stay in a nondescript bylane in Puttur town for over six months, but posters containing their photos were prominently displayed across the district some two months ago.

It was after the July 1 attack on RSS leader Vellaiyappan that the Counter Intelligence sleuths from Chennai identified it as their handiwork and sought the support of the Chittoor police in zeroing in on the duo. The graffiti containing pictures of the two terrorists, with an appeal to the general public to inform their whereabouts, were prominently displayed at several areas in Chittoor, Palamaner and Kuppam towns of Chittoor district, especially in the vicinity of Madrassas and areas inhabited by Muslims. The reports about the pasting of such posters were also carried in local vernacular dailies.

However, it is not immediately known if such posters ever came to the ‘peaceful’ Puttur, as it is neither home to sizeable Muslim population, nor considered communally-sensitive. Had such posters been displayed here, they could have been caught very easily from among the handful of Muslims in the town, police sources said.

Visitors throng Puttur

Puttur, which is known for traditional bone-setting, Ayurvedic pain relieving oil and powerloom weaving units, continued to attract visitors on the second day from the neighbouring areas. People thronged the house on Masjid Street in Gate Puttur area, from where the two terrorists were picked up.