Coimbatore blasts accused Islamist held for Munnani leader’s murder

chennai-map11CHENNAI: Police have detained Abdul Karim alias Palani Babu, an accused in the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts case, in connection with the murder of Hindu Munnai leader Suresh Kumar. Karim was among the 80 accused in the serial blasts case released by a court in 2007. 

The team investigating the Kumar murder has also picked up an associate of Karim. Police said the two might have played a direct role in Kumar’s murder on June 18 or shielded the killers. Police narrowed down on the men after tracking Karim’s mobile phone call details. After the Coimbatore blasts, Karim, 40, was arrested in Coimbatore on February 16, 1998. This time he was taken into custody from a hideout in Madina Nagar in Palani. A police team is questioning Karim in an undisclosed location. 

Karim was named the 62nd accused in the Coimbatore bomb blasts case. An Al-Umma activist, he stayed with prime accused S A Baasha in Chennai. He planted bombs at Marutham complex in Udumalaipet at the residence of the U K P Kandasamy, a Hindu Munnai leader on December 3, 1997. He was also involved in planting a car bomb at a BJP meeting on Lokanmanya Street in Coimbatore. As the car key got jammed and broken, the car bomb didn’t explode. Later, police recovered the car bomb. He was released from prison in 2007 along with 79 others, including Abdul Nasar Madani. 

Police have been suspecting the hand of Al-Umma operatives behind the murder of Kumar who had made an inflammatory speech at an RSS public meeting in Avadi. Pursuing the Al-Umma angle, a police team had also interrogated three of its operatives who have been in prison—Bilal Malik, Panna Ismail and ‘Police’ Fakrudeen. The three were also being questioned by the Bangalore police in connection with the BJP office blast case in that city. 

Source: Times of India