A 12-member team of the Tamil Nadu CB-ID from Chennai arrived at Puttur in the district on Tuesday morning and enquired with the residents about the behaviour and movements of the two Al-Umma terrorists who were apprehended there on October 5.
It may be noted here that Bilal Malik and Munna were smoked out of their hideout in Gate Puttur locality after a 12-hour “ Operation Puttur.” The wife and three children of Bilal were also taken into custody and shifted to Chennai. The incident created a furore. A police team arrived in the town again on October 15 along with Bilal Malik and left with clothes and books from his hideout.
On Tuesday, the TN sleuths split themselves into four teams and started making enquiries but when the locals said they had no information about the duo, the TN police had to seek the assistance of their Puttur counterparts, including the CI and the SI. Till 3.30 p.m., the team visited various houses in three streets of the locality.
The police had repeatedly assured the locals that they had nothing to fear while divulging the information if any, in the national interest. In spite of this, the TN police received little or no information till noon. Fearing interrogation, several youths of the locality had left their houses. People of the locality said they were not ready to face courts and interrogation. But on persistent questioning some residents said that the two, during a period of one year, had sold scrap, fruit, steel vessels and vegetables. Their tempting offer of 3 kg tomatoes for Rs. 20, at a time when the price ruled at Rs. 15 a kg, was an instant hit. Similarly, the duo had sold fine variety of garlic at Rs 30 per kg, when it was Rs 50. The police team also sought to know whether the duo took any loans from the local residents, but none responded.