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NIA searches at more than 40 locations in Tamil Nadu in Coimbatore car blast case

NIA officials, along with the state police, started raids on the residential premises of suspects related to the incidents in areas like Kottamedu, Ponvizha Nagar, Rathinapuri and Ukkadam in the early hours of Thursday.

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Chennai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided more than 40 places including Chennai in connection with its ongoing probe into October 23 Coimbatore LPG cylinder explosion that took place in a car in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The NIA conducted raids in Pudupet, Mannadi, Jamalia and Perambur in Chennai. At the same time, raids were also done in Kottamedu, Ukkad, Ponvizha Nagar and Ratinapuri in Coimbatore.

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NIA officials, along with the state police, started raids on the residential premises of suspects related to the incidents in areas like Kottamedu, Ponvizha Nagar, Rathinapuri and Ukkadam in the early hours of Thursday. The massive search of the central anti-terror agency comes after nearly 15 days when the Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalization (CTCR) Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order asking for an investigation into the matter.

The National Investigation Agency, on October 27, took over the investigation in the Coimbatore car blast case by registering an FIR. The NIA is India’s primary counter-terrorist task force.

Around 4.30 am on October 23, an LPG cylinder exploded inside a Maruti 800 in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The explosion occurred near the Kottai Eswaran temple, killing a 25-year-old man, identified as Jameza Mubin.

The order by the Home Ministry was issued a day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin recommended an NIA probe into the case. Stalin, in a recommendation letter to the ministry, had requested to transfer the investigation of the case related to the car cylinder blast in Ukkadam area of ​​Coimbatore to the NIA and directed the police to ensure security in Coimbatore.

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Tamil Nadu Police has so far arrested over half a dozen people in connection with the case, and invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Those arrested are known to be an aide of Jamisha Mubeen, who died under suspicious circumstances after an LPG cylinder inside a Maruti 800. He was seen detonating near a temple at around 4 pm.

According to police, 25-year-old Mubeen (who was an engineering graduate) was first questioned by NIA officials in 2019 for alleged terror links. He is named as the main accused in the case.

Those arrested include Mohammad Thalka (25), Mohammad Asruddin (25), Muhammad Riaz (27), Firoz Ismail (27), Mohammad Nawaz Ismail (27) and Afsar Khan, a relative of the deceased. Khan is the cousin of the deceased and was picked up by the Special Investigation Team two days before the blast.

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