In the midst of growing fury against the ruling DMK government over the car cylinder explosion in Coimbatore with the opposition claiming the incident to be an act of terrorism, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has on Wednesday - October 26 held a high-level meeting in Chennai on the horrific incident and developments at a high time when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has jumped in to the probe.
According to reports, Chief Minister MK Stalin has held a meeting with Chief Secretary Irai Anbu, DGP Sylendra Babu, Home Secretary Phaneendra Reddy, Chief of Intelligence Davidson Devashirvadham, and top officials in the Chief Secretariat on Wednesday in the midst of the investigations conducted by the NIA into the car blast. The top authorities of the state government have discussed about the developments surrounding the blast.
The car blast had killed a man named Jameesha Mubeen, whom the BJP has claimed to be an ISIS module and that he was brought under scanner by the NIA in 2019. The blast occurred in Ukkadam, Coimbatore in the wee hours of Sunday - October 23 near to a temple on the occasion of Diwali. The local police rushed to the spot and launched a probe. DGP Sylendra Babu visited the crime scene and reviewed the situation and based on the CCTV footage, the police had arrested five people on Monday.
The footage showed that a group of men leaving Mubeen's residence with a gunny bag during the night hours of Saturday and the police suspect that one of them could be Mubeen. The incident has sparked a public outcry across the state with the opposition parties claiming the blast to be an attack carried out by a suicide bomber. The police conducted raids at Mubeen's residence and the officials have recovered low-intensive explosive material including potassium nitrate, used in making country bombs.
The high-level meeting has come when there have been speculations that the probe has been transferred to the NIA, given that the incident drew a possible terror attack. However, the Tamil Nadu police asserted that the probe is fully carried out by the state police while NIA has been gathering evidence. Speaking to the reporters on Tuesday regarding the same, Coimbatore police commissioner Balakrishnan said, "The Tamil Nadu police are investigating the case of the car blast in Coimbatore."
"The NIA officials who came from Chennai are collecting general evidence into the incident and that the complete investigation into the blast is carried out by the Coimbatore police", Balakrishnan added. On Tuesday, Balakrishnan announced that they have invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the case against the arrested accused. He further said that while an FIR was previously registered under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Section 3 (a) of the Explosive Substances Act, it has then been altered to include relevant sections of the UAPA, which is an anti-terror law.
Balakrishnan said, "We have questioned more than 20 people in connection with this case and we are continuing our investigations. We are also keeping a close watch on the suspects and will carry out house searches based on the information we receive during the course of investigations." While asked about the immediate response from the police, the Commissioner said, "We stepped up the security across Coimbatore district immediately after the incident and ensured that there was no further disturbance to the general public on the eve of Diwali. Appropriate action will be taken accordingly and the public will be informed."