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T.N., Kerala hunt for suspected Islamic ultras

Abdul Shameem

Abdul Shameem  

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Duo killed an SSI in Kanniyakumari

Preliminary investigations into the gunning down of special sub-inspector of police Wilson, 57, at Padanthaalumoodu checkpost in Kanniyakumari district on Wednesday night, point to the involvement of suspected Islamic extremists.

With the help of CCTV images, the police identified the assailants as A. Abdul Shameem of Thiruvithaancode and M. Thoufique of Malik Dinar Nagar in Kottar, Kanniyakumari.

M. Thoufique

M. Thoufique  

 

Police sources said Shameem was involved in the murder of Hindu Munnani activist Suresh Kumar in Chennai in June 2014.

He was arrested with some others but released on bail in December 2019. He went underground thereafter.

Tamil Nadu Director General of Police J.K. Tripathy and ADGP, Law and Order, K. Jayanth Murali, who arrived in Kerala on Thursday, had an hour-long meeting with Kerala police chief Loknath Behera and ADGP, Law and Order, Sheikh Darvesh Saheb.

The Kerala Police released the police photographs of the suspects and footage from the surveillance cameras. They also announced a reward for information leading to the capture of the two men.

Mr. Tripathy later visited the crime spot here in the afternoon. “Efforts are on to nab the assailants,” he told journalists before leaving to pay his last respects to the slain police officer, whose body was buried with police honours around 3.30 p.m.

Police said the assailants were seen entering a mosque after the shooting and might have fled in a vehicle parked behind the mosque. A surveillance camera later picked them up at Parassala in Kerala.

Though it was initially stated that the police officer was shot dead by the occupants of a car when he checked the vehicle, CCTV footage collected from the spot showed that the assailants, who came to the Padanthaalumoodu check-post on foot, entered the check-post around 9.25 p.m. and opened fire at Wilson at point-blank range. The officer sustained bullet injuries in the head, chest and the leg and died on the spot.

“It categorically proves that the assailants had intentionally killed the police officer,” an officer privy to the ongoing investigation said.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka police with the help of their Tamil Nadu counterparts, had nabbed a person from Ambasamudram and two others from Tenkasi in connection with a case registered in Bengaluru.

An officer said, “The killing of Wilson is an obvious attempt to send strong signals to the Tamil Nadu Police as few of their accomplices have been nabbed. A police team recently searched the houses of Shameem and Thoufique and grilled their family members to get more information about the duo. So it’s an attempt to threaten the police force,” the police officer suspected.

Meanwhile, a special team from Kanniyakumari district searched the house of S. Al Kabir, 28, at Vazhukkodai in Tirunelveli Town around 4 a.m. on Thursday and questioned his wife Nilofer for a while as Kabir, who is running a car seat stitching unit, was not at home. She told the police that Kabir, who left the home two days ago, had not returned.

“Since Kabir reportedly has links with the trio nabbed by the Karnataka police, we are looking for him,” the police said.

SSI Wilson from Paruththivilai near Marthandam had returned to work only on New Year’s day after a two month medical absence following an accident in October 2019. “Since he was due to retire from service in May, he was posted at the check-post,” sources in the police said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 5:10:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tn-kerala-hunt-for-suspected-islamic-ultras/article30531069.ece

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