Coimbatore, Mangaluru blasts : NIA conducts searches in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Wednesday conducted searches at 40 locations across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka in connection with last year’s Coimbatore car blast and the Mangaluru pressure cooker blast cases.

The agency claimed searches were conducted at premises associated with suspects in the two cases. “Searches conducted today have led to the seizure of a large number of digital devices and cash amounting to Rs 4 lakh,” the agency said in a statement.

Searchers were carried out at 31 locations in Tamil Nadu and at one location in Ernakulam in Kerala in connection with the car explosion that took place in front of the Sangameswarar temple at Kottaimedu in Coimbatore in the early hours of October 23, 2022. In Ernakulam, the agency searched the Aluva house of a money-lender. It has reportedly asked another person to appear before it on Thursday.

The places searched in Tamil Nadu were in Coimbatore (14), Tiruchi (1), the Nilgiris (2), Tirunelveli (3), Thoothukudi (1), Chennai (3), Thiruvannamalai (2), Dindigul (1), Mayiladuthurai (1), Krishnagiri (1), Kanyakumari (1) and Tenkasi (1). 

Multiple teams of the NIA, accompanied by the police, searched houses at Ukkadam and Kuniyamuthur areas in Coimbatore from Wednesday morning. The agency has arrested 11 persons in the car blast case so far. The suspected key conspirator, Jameesha Mubin, was killed in the blast.

According to the agency, Mubin, after swearing bayath (oath of allegiance) to the Islamic State planned to carry out a suicide attack and cause extensive damage to the temple complex with the intention to strike terror among a section of the society.

Three locations in Tiruppur and Coimbatore, four places in Ernakulam and one place in Mysuru were searched by the NIA as part of its investigation into the pressure cooker bomb/improvised explosive device (IED) blast that took place in a moving autorickshaw in Mangaluru on November 19, 2022.

Sources added that the searches were carried out based on information extracted from the accused during custodial interrogations in the two cases.

The Coimbatore blast case relates to a bomb blast in a car laden with explosives in front of the Kottai Eswaran Temple in October last year, killing a 25-year-old man.

“The accused Jamesha Mubeen, after swearing Bayath (allegiance) to the ISIS, was planning to carry out a suicide attack on 23.10.2022 and cause extensive damage to the temple complex with the intention to strike terror among a section of the society. This case was initially registered as FIR no. 207/2022 dated 23.10.22 at PS Ukkadam, Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu, and re-registered by NIA on 27.10.2022,” the NIA statement said.

The Mangaluru case relates to a pressure cooker bomb blast that took place in a moving auto-rickshaw in November last year while the accused was carrying the bomb in a bid to plant it at a public place.

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