Three detained under NSA

One more member of the ‘radical group’ held in Salem

Updated - April 13, 2018 07:42 pm IST

Published - April 13, 2018 06:50 pm IST


The district police have detained under the National Security Act (NSA) three members of a group, who were part of a 10-member hardcore religious WhatsApp group, even as a special team arrested another member.

On the recommendation of Superintendent of Police Omprakash Meena, Collector S. Natarajan issued the detention order on Thursday. The three accused had been lodged in Madurai central prison, the police said.

The special team, which was formed to nab those involved in the attack on BJP office-bearer R. Veerabagu on March 29, stumbled upon a fresh lead and busted the group on April 1. Those detained under the NSA are M. Mohamed Rifas (35), a Sri Lankan national, U. Mufaris Ahmed (21) and J. Abubakar Sithiq (23) from Devipattinam.

After their first meeting in Muthupettai in Tiruvarur district, the group members came to Kilakarai for a huddle, when the police arrested the accused. Other members of the group, including the main accused, escaped from the police and went absconding, the police said. Rifas had been residing at Kilakarai for about 18 years. Sithiq was an MCA student of a college in Chennai and was active in the group, the police said.

Meanwhile, the special team arrested here on Thursday night one more member of the group, Babu alias Liyakath Ali (25) of Ammapettai in Salem, a murder accused, who was on bail, the police said.

Initially, the police suspected his involvement in the attack on Mr. Veerabagu but later found that he was not involved in the crime, the SP said.

Liyakath Ali met Kaja Mohideen, leader of a radical outfit while serving in Puzhal Central Prison. He was instrumental in forming the WhatsApp group and attended the huddle in Muthupettai. He was in touch with Mohideen, the police said.

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