A special team of the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka police on Tuesday arrested a former Al-Umma activist, Kichan Buhari, here in connection with the April 17 Bangalore bomb blast. He hails from Melapalayam in Tirunelveli. He is the third suspect to be held in the case. The other two were picked up in Chennai on Monday night.

The team was shadowing Buhari from Coimbatore to Tirunelveli and nabbed him at Mattuthavani here at 7 a.m., a police official said. He was tracked down based on call records of the mobile phone of one of the suspects.

The Karnataka police have taken him to Bangalore.

Special Correspondent reports from Tirunelveli:

Buhari’s mother Thowlath said her son was innocent. The police should drop all cases fabricated against him. They did not inform her of the arrest. “He is now leading a peaceful life. His children are studying in Coimbatore and he used to visit us twice a month,” said Ms. Thowlath, who lives in Melapalayam.

Buhari’s name entered the police records for the first time after ‘Pookkadai’ Kannan, ‘Tailor’ Shankar and Dr. Selvakumar were murdered at Melapalayam on August 11, 1997. The case was handed over to the CB-CID, and it ended in his acquittal. He was arrested in connection with the Coimbatore serial blasts and he served seven years in prison.