press trust of india
Puttur, 5 Oct: Two key suspects in an attempt to kill BJP veteran L K Advani and in the murder of other Sangh Parivar leaders were arrested here today in a major operation jointly by the police of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik, suspects in the 2011 Advani pipe bomb case and several other cases, were caught after hundreds of armed personnel of police of both the states surrounded a house here, close to the border with Tamil Nadu, and forced them to come out by filling the house tear gas.
A police inspector suffered injuries when he entered the house in disguise and was attacked by the suspected militants, while Panna Ismail suffered bullet injuries when police opened fire at the house.
The operation, which lasted for about 12 hours in this sleepy town, involved heavily-armed personnel from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Octopus (Organisation To Counter Terrorist Operations), Andhra Pradesh&’s anti-terror force.
Bilal Malik’s wife and three children were also in the house and talks were held with the suspects to let them come out. “Malik’s wife and three children safely came out (later on),” Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam said.
Ismail was admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital where he is surrounded by three tiers of security. A gun and some explosives were also recovered from a house in the area, police said, adding they are being inspected for leads.
According to investigators, Police Fakruddin, Bilal Malik and Panna Ismail are involved in the 2011 Tirumangalam (Madurai) pipe bomb case besides being wanted in the murders of BJP leader Auditor Ramesh, Hindu Munnani leader Vellaiyappan and the 17 April BJP Bangalore office bombing case. ‘Police’ Fakruddin was arrested yesterday by Tamil Nadu Police. The fourth suspect, Abu Backer Siddique, is still at large.
The arrests comes days ahead of the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Chennai on 18 October. Today&’s incident also sent shock waves among the public as the Brahmotsavam, an annual festival at the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, some 40 km from here, is to begin from today.