Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], October 30 (ANI): Refuting allegations over a delay in transferring the Coimbatore car cylinder blast case to the NIA, the Tamil Nadu Police attacked BJP chief K Annamalai, asking him to "stop spreading rumours" to defame the police department.
"There has been no delay in handing over the Coimbatore Car Cylinder blast case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA)," Tamil Nadu police said attacking Annamalai for "spreading rumours" to defame the police department of Tamil Nadu.
Reacting to this, Annamalai alleged that the state police have been behaving like an "extension of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
"I have the highest respect for the hardworking brothers and sisters in Tamil Nadu Police, but the DGP and ADGP (Int) of our state police behave like an extension of the DMK party," BJP chief K Annamalai said.
The police have accused the BJP chief of speaking "factually incorrect statements".
In an official statement, the state police said, "BJP State President Annamalai is continuously slandering Tamil Nadu Police. While investigation about the cylinder and car was underway, Annamalai was continuously interfering in the probe."
Annamalai is trying to divert the investigation, the police alleged.
"Annamalai alleges that we have sent this case to NIA late. When these types of incidents occur only local police will file cases and investigate further into that. All states are following this procedure. This is what the law says. When UAPA is invoked or if certain case sections fall under NIA Act 2008 the state government will immediately convey this to the Union government. Then according to the case within 15 days, the Union government can transfer the case to NIA. This is the law. But in practice, after getting an opinion from NIA, the Union government even takes months to take over the case. Till then only the state police will handle the case," the police said in its statement.
It said that the police followed this procedure without any delay and transferred the case to NIA, but in this case, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin himself recommended the NIA probe into the matter.
The police also said that Annamalai's claim of Union Home Ministry warning about the planned blast in Coimbatore was an "utter lie".
"Whatever Annamalai mentions about the circular that is a very general circular which was sent to all States and Union Territory. There was no mention of Coimbatore in that," the police added.
The General Circular was received on October 18, which was then immediately shared with all district police officials.
As Annamalai mentioned if we had received a circular that a specific person to involve in the blast, that time itself Coimbatore Police would have arrested that person and would have searched his house, seizing everything, the police statement added.
"Hence, we are asking that the former Karnataka Police Officer should not spread fake news and factually incorrect news to defame Tamil Nadu Police" it read further.
In the political debate over the Coimbatore blast, BJP state chief Annamalai is scheduled to visit the Kottai Eshwaran Temple to worship, which is the place close to which the said blast took place.
Tamil Nadu Police so far has arrested six people in connection with the Coimbatore car blast case, and have invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Those arrested are learned to be associates of Jameesha Mubin, who was charred to death in suspicious circumstances after an LPG cylinder inside the car he was driving exploded near a temple around 4 am on October 23.
According to the police, Mubin, 25, who was an engineering graduate, was previously questioned by the NIA in 2019 for alleged terror links. His name is mentioned as the primary accused in the case.
Five people arrested on Monday (October 24) night were Mohammad Thalka, 25, Mohammad Asarudheen, 25, Muhammad Riyaz, 27, Feroz Ismail, 27, and Mohammad Navaz Ismail, 27. The sixth person, identified as Afsar Khan, a relative of the deceased, was arrested on Thursday (October 27).
Khan is the cousin of the deceased. He was picked up by the special investigation team.
On Wednesday, Police officials also conducted searches at Khan's residence and seized his laptop. Tamil Nadu DGP said the police found materials used to make explosives in Mubin's house in Ukkadam. They seized 75 kgs of potassium nitrate, charcoal, aluminium powder and sulphur which can be used to make explosives. (ANI)