Ahead of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city on Friday, a security blanket was thrown over the city since late on Thursday and special teams attached to various security agencies were positioned at vantage points to keep tabs on suspicious elements. Mr. Modi will be delivering the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture at the centenary auditorium of the University of Madras.
Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for Mr. Modi’s visit. Thousands of police personnel, including a large number of them in plainclothes, were deployed in vulnerable areas. In Madras University, police erected barricades on all roads leading to the centenary auditorium.
Tamil Nadu Director-General of Police K. Ramanujam, Chennai Police Commissioner S. George and senior officials in the State intelligence reviewed the security arrangements on Thursday. Police made random checks at lodges/mansions in and around the city. Night patrolling and vehicle checks were intensified, the sources added.
CBCID develops portrait of key suspect
The Crime Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu police has developed a computer-aided portrait of Abubakar Siddique, the alleged brain behind the plot to blow up the convoy of senior BJP leader L.K. Advani near Madurai in 2011. Since the police have only a very old photo of Siddique, investigators took the assistance of other suspects arrested in the case and developed his portrait from different angles, agency sources said on Thursday.
Besides the images of Siddique, other absconding accused persons wanted in extremist activities in the State were circulated to police personnel deployed at the venue, airport, railway stations, bus stands etc. Several teams of the Special Investigation Division of the CBCID have also been deployed as part of the security arrangements, the sources said.
According to a CBCID official, Siddique was present at the scene where Fakruddin alias ‘Police’ Fakruddin and his associates placed a powerful bomb under a culvert near Tirumangalam in Madurai district in a bid to blow up the convoy of Mr. Advani. Later, he stayed with some suspects in Gudiyatham in Vellore district.
“Apart from Fakruddin, Bilal Malik and Panna Ismail, we took the assistance of a few others who saw Siddique in recent months while developing the computer-aided portraits. When the gang was planning a major strike while hiding in Puttur (Andhra Pradesh), Siddique often visited to provide financial and logistic support,” the official said.