Four members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) were arrested by the police in connection with the Molotov cocktail attacks on three shops belonging to BJP functionaries at Mettupalayam and on 100 Feet Road in Coimbatore on the night of September 22 and 23.
The Mettupalayam police on Thursday arrested Nazeer Ahammed (30) of Siraj Nagar, Sheik Farid (30) of Annaji Rao road, both places at Mettupalayam, and Mohammed Thoufeek (25) of Saibaba Kovil Street for hurling fuel-filled bottles at two plywood stores on Karamadai Road in the early hours of September 23. The police said Nazeer had been doing iron scrap business and Farid had been working in a two-wheeler spare parts store. Thoufeek had been into fruit vending.
According to Coimbatore District Superintendent of Police V. Badrinarayanan, the accused were identified from visuals captured by various surveillance cameras which the police examined after the incident. Four persons were involved in the attacks on the two plywood stores. They came to the spot on two motorcycles and hurled the inflammable substance at the shops belonging to BJP functionaries. While Ahammed, Farid and Thoufeek were arrested on Thursday, the police were on the lookout for one more person.
Meanwhile, the Coimbatore City Police arrested Mohammed Rafiq (31) of Vellakinar near Thudiyalur on charges of hurling a Molotov cocktail at a shop belonging to a BJP functionary on 100 Feet Road late on September 22. Rafiq, an autorickshaw driver, was associated with the Popular Front of India, before started working for SDPI, the police said. The accused came to the spot between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. and hurled a Molotov cocktail at the shop, around an hour after a similar attack was reported on the BJP Coimbatore office.
All the accused were remanded in judicial custody.