Madurai: Two former hardcore members of banned
terror outfit Al-Umma have been identified as the brain behind
the plot to target the convoy of BJP leader L K Advani during
his yatra near here and a manhunt is on to nab them, Special
Investigation Team officials said today.
"Police" Fakruddin and Bilal Mallick, close associates of
slain terrorist Imam Ali, had started hatching the conspiracy
as the schedule of Advani`s yatra was announced early last
month, they said.
The STF suspect that the two were hiding in either
Bangalore or Andhra Pradesh and special teams have been sent
there for investigation, the officials said.
Fakruddin, son of a retired police constable, was involved
in a blast case at Ovamalai in the district in 2002, in which
Imam Ali was arrested. He had helped Ali to escape when he was
being taken to the Palayamkottai prison. Ali, a dreaded
terrorist, was killed in an encounter in Bangalore in 2002.
Bilal Malik was one of the accused in the murder of Hindu
Makkal Katchi leader Kalidass five years ago. When he was in
Vellore Prison he had attacked the jailer and a case was still
pending, police said.
A powerful pipe bomb was unearthed from under a bridge and
defused on October 27 at Alampatti village, about 30 km from
here, on the route of Advani`s yatra.
Police on Nov 1 arrested Ismath and Abdullah Rahman, both
city residents, and detained one Usman Ali yesterday in
connection with the incident.
STF officials said Ismath and Rahman were only
perpetrators who had given their vehicles. "It was information
about the motorbike of Ismath, a watermelon seller, which was
noticed continuously for three days on the bridge at
Alampatti, that helped police to nab the two culprits," they
Fakruddin and Mallick had taken the help of Ismath and
Rahman, thinking that police would not suspect them as they
were not in any organisation.
Rahman had helped in hiring an autorickshaw to bring the
explosives without raising any suspicion.
"Only if Fakruddin is arrested, we will know from where
they had procured the lethal chemical `Power gel90` and other
details," the officials said adding police were confident of
arresting the two in a week`s time.