The Crime Branch-CID has told the court of Judicial Magistrate (JM)-3, Vellore, that Fakruddin alias ‘Police’ Fakruddin has confessed that he and his two associates Bilal Malik and Panna Ismail were involved in five murders, including those of four leaders of Hindu outfits, in different parts of the State in the last two years.
The magistrate remanded him in police custody on Saturday night until October 11.
The CB-CID made the submission in the court on Saturday night, when Fakruddin (36) of Nelpettai in Madurai was produced before Judicial Magistrate Sivakumar.
Fakruddin’s arrest two days ago led the police to a hideout at Puttur in Andhra Pradesh, where two more suspected al-Umma men were arrested on Saturday after an 11-hour standoff during which they locked themselves in a house with a woman and three children and threatened to trigger an explosion.
The CB-CID sought custody of Fakruddin for 13 days, saying that as per his own confession, he and his two associates were involved in the murder of S. Vellaiyappan, State secretary of Hindu Munnani, in Vellore on July 1, 2013, Dr. V. Arvinth Reddy, State medical wing secretary of BJP, in Vellore on October 23, 2012, ‘Auditor’ Ramesh, State BJP general secretary, in Salem on July 19, 2013, B. Suresh Kumar, a milk stall owner in Madurai, on June 26, 2013 and Murugan, a BJP functionary in Paramakudi, on March 19, 2013.
Fakruddin had to be interrogated further to seize explosives and deadly weapons that he and his associates might have hidden somewhere.
However, on Fakruddin’s plea that his custody should not be for so long, the Magistrate granted police custody only till October 11 on the condition that he should not be physically tortured or threatened and that he should be produced in the court after a proper medical examination. Bilal Malik, who was arrested along with Panna Ismail from a hideout in Puttur on Saturday, was produced before the JM-3, Vellore, at his residence here on Sunday. He was remanded in judicial custody till October 18.
T.S. Anbu, Superintendent of Police, CB-CID, Chennai, told reporters that the Special Investigation Team of the CB-CID was able to extract some information from Bilal Malik about the murders. The team seized 10 kg of explosives and implements used to manufacture explosives from the accused. Panna Ismail could not be questioned, as he was injured in the police operation at Puttur.
The cadre of the Popular Front of India (PFI) held a demonstration in Chennai and Madurai accusing the police of foisting false cases against innocent Muslims.