Link in Sri Lanka bomb blasts comes to fore :Coimbatore’s travel agency owner held, summons to five others

Coimbatore, Jun 13:

The link of some locals here with the Sri Lanka’s serial bomb blasts has come to the fore and a travels agency owner has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which has issued summons to five more suspects in the case.

Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) continued their raids in three places in the city for the second day today.  The NIA team raided places like Karumbukkadai, Anbu Nagar, Vincent road and houses of Shajahan and Mohammed Hussain.

It may be recalled that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday detained a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, along with five others in Coimbatore. Cases have been registered against the other six suspects and they will be taken to the NIA’s office in Kochi, if needed, for further interrogation.

More than 250 people were killed and 500 were injured in the serial explosions at churches and star hotels in Colombo.  The ISIS owned responsibility for the explosions. That some persons from Coimbatore were in link with this outfit through social media.

Following this the NIA had been keeping a close watch on them. During its raids at seven places, the central investigating agency had seized 14 mobile phones, 29 SIM cards, 10 pen drives, three laptops, six memory cards, four hard disk drives, one internet dongle and 13 CDs/DVDs were seized during the raids.

Apart from these, one dagger, one electric baton, 300 air-gun pellets. NIA alleged that the prime suspect Mohammed Azharudheen, 32, who runs a travel agency and his associates were “propagating the ideology of proscribed terrorist organization Islamic State on social media with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youth for carrying out terrorist attacks in South India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.”

In connection with the case, NIA officials, headed by Deputy Superintendent Vikram, from Kochi visited Coimbatore city early on Thursday and searched the houses belonging to the six accused, besides Azarudeen’s working place at Karumbukkadai.

They fanned out in seven teams and searched the houses of suspects Akram Sindhaa, 26, Y. Shiek Hidayathullah, 38, Abubacker M., 29, Sadham Hussain, 26, and Ibrahim Shah, 28, all residents of Coimbatore. Agency sleuths also interrogated the accused during the raids that lasted for several hours.

The NIA has issued summons to the remaining five directing them to appear today in the NIA special court in Kochi. Azarudeen was taken to the NIA office in Kochi yesterday night itself for interrogation. The NIA officials produce Azarudeen also in the NIA’s special court today.

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