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Man held with explosives

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INTENSIVE CHECK: Railway police personnel checking the baggage of passengers on board a train in Madurai on Monday. Photo: K. Ganesan
INTENSIVE CHECK: Railway police personnel checking the baggage of passengers on board a train in Madurai on Monday. Photo: K. Ganesan

S. Vijay Kumar

He was intercepted by a patrol party in Madurai; alert sounded in southern districts

Ahmed reveals "ideological differences" among supporters of Imam AliHe conspired to murder M. Ibrahim soon after court proceedings: police Railway Police have stepped up vigil on trains and at railway stations

MADURAI: A suspected fundamentalist, N. Sultan Ahmed, was arrested hours before he was to "eliminate" his former associate here on Monday, the police said. Country-made explosives and weapons were seized from him. An alert has been sounded in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu following the arrest.

Ahmed revealed "ideological differences" among supporters of Imam Ali, an Al-Umma activist, who was shot dead by the police in Bangalore in 2003.

Following intelligence inputs that there were "simmering" differences between two groups of Muslim fundamentalists, the police had stepped up vigil in sensitive areas. Early on Monday, a patrol team intercepted Ahmed (30) of Sellur here as he was found moving "suspiciously." He was carrying a bag containing two country-made explosives. A few weapons were found in his house. The police claimed that Ahmed, during interrogation, had confessed to conspiring to murder M. Ibrahim (42) soon after court proceedings on Monday. (Both were among the 37 persons arrested in connection with the Imam Ali escape case, under trial in a sessions court here.) After making three bombs in the Sirumalai hills in Dindigul district recently, he tested one of them successfully at Sakkimangalam near here.

Ahmed alleged that Ibrahim had "betrayed" Imam Ali by informing the police about his Bangalore hideout.

Police Commissioner M. Chidambarasamy said special teams had been formed to investigate the case. Ibrahim was also taken into custody.

The Commissioner said security at vital installations and places of worship had been intensified. The police were probing Ahmed's links with some fundamentalists lodged in the Madurai and Tiruchi prisons and the source of the explosive material.

Security has been beefed up following the arrest. External security in the Madurai Central Prison has been strengthened. The Tamil Nadu Railway Police (TRP) have stepped up vigil on trains and at railway stations. "The baggage of passengers is being frisked with metal detectors and sniffer dogs. Armed police personnel have been posted at all entry points to the railway stations. Random checks are being carried out on trains and at wayside stations," a TRP official said.

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