The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday announced a dawn to dusk bandh in Coimbatore city on October 31, to condemn the State government for “negligently handling the investigation” of the car blast that occurred in front of Sangameswarar temple, Kottaimedu recently.
BJP’s national executive committee member and former Coimbatore MP C.P. Radhakrishnan said the serial bombings of 1998 happened in Coimbatore when the DMK ruled the State. “Though a similar plot was about to take place in Coimbatore, the mastermind himself got killed. Kottai Eswaran saved Kovai,” he said.
Coimbatore South MLA Vanathi Srinivasan, BJP State treasurer S.R. Sekhar, Hindu Munnani State president Kadeswara Subramaniam and BJP Coimbatore president Balaji Uthamaramasamy were present at the press meet.
According to Mr. Radhakrishnan, the immediate arrival of the Director-General of Police in the city after the blast was welcomed. But it was not ideal for an officer of his stature to state in haste and without investigating properly that the blast occurred due to cylinder explosion. The police had to keenly look for the reason for the blast, he said.
“No one can deny that the person who was killed in the blast had contact with a terrorist who is in a prison. He [the deceased] was already questioned by the NIA and the police had to keep him under their watch,” alleged Mr. Radhakrishnan.
He accused the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister of issuing the order for recommending an investigation by the NIA into the incident as if he woke up from a deep sleep after remaining silent on the blast for three days. The BJP leader also alleged that the Tamil Nadu government was not handling extremist elements effectively.
Coimbatore jamaats condemn blast, extend support for communal harmony
Meanwhile, District Collector G.S. Sameeran and Police Commissioner V. Balakrishnan on Wednesday convened a meeting of representatives of jamaats in the district. The Collector said members of the Coimbatore District United Jamaat condemned the blast and extended their support in maintaining peace in the district. Various measures to be taken to retain communal harmony in the district were discussed, he said.
Mr. Balakrishnan said security has been stepped up in Coimbatore. Vehicle checking, vehicle patrolling and foot patrolling have been increased across the city.
The Commissioner said that police were present close to Sangameswarar temple at the time of the blast on October 23 morning and the investigators suspect that the explosion could have happened when the person who drove the car while trying to abort his plan on seeing the police.