Timely intelligence coupled with quick and coordinated action helped security personnel corner Fakruddin alias ‘Police’ Fakruddin and two of his associates in Chennai and Puttur (Andhra Pradesh) on Saturday.
Investigators believe that the suspects were preparing for a major attack as their hideout in Puttur was full of ready-to-use explosives.
Police found backpacks stuffed with explosives, magnetic bombs, timer devices, electrical detonators and batteries.
While Fakruddin was conducting a recce in Chennai, Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik were stationed in Puttur. “They were planning to carry out a series of attacks across the State targeting leaders of various Hindu outfits.
Another suspect Abubakkar Siddique was coordinating with them from Karnataka though we could not track his location,” a police official said.
The official added that Fakruddin was involved in the murder of BJP State general secretary ‘Auditor’ V. Ramesh in Salem and Hindu Munnani State secretary S. Vellaiyappan in Vellore.
He and two others were also involved in the murder of B.Suresh Kumar, a milk vendor, in Madurai on June 26. “On the same day, the accused went to the office of a Hindu organisation leader to murder him. But he was not there,” the official said.
A SIM card allegedly recovered from Fakruddin has provided a Tamil Nadu link to the Malleswaram bomb blast in Bangalore on April 17. Investigators said the suspect played a key role in purchasing a motorcycle that was used to trigger the blast near the Bharatiya Janata Party office in Malleswaram. 17 people were injured.
One Rajesh Nair who originally activated the SIM card lost it in February this year.
It is not clear how Fakruddin accessed the card which he regularly used to give only missed calls to his associates to confirm a predetermined message.
“The nature and quality of explosives used in the plot to blow up the convoy of BJP leader L.K. Advani near Madurai and the blast in Bangalore are the same. The accused had also kept a huge stock of explosives in a locked house in Melappayam in Tirunelveli which was later seized by the police,” he said.
Director-General of Police (Crime Branch CID) N.P. Singh said police had adequate evidence to prove the involvement of the three suspects in the Salem and Vellore murder cases.
“They confessed to having conspired and executed the murders in pursuit of their jihadi ideology,” he said.