Diwali-eve car blast near Tamil Nadu temple, terror probe on | India News

COIMBATORE: Tamil Nadu started a terror investigation on Sunday after an LPG cylinder blast inside a moving car blew up the vehicle in front of a temple in Coimbatore before dawn, killing the man at the wheel – a 21-year-old engineer whom the NIA had interrogated in 2019 on suspicion of having links with people named in some cases.
DGP C Sylendra Babu said it was unlikely the deceased, Jameesha Mubin, had attempted a suicide bombing near the temple in Kottaimedu, a Muslim-dominated area.
There were two cylinders in the car, one of which possibly exploded around 4am following a gas leak, police said. “Cops were manning a checkpoint near the site and the blast possibly occurred just as the driver attempted to speed away. There was no damage to the temple except the signboard outside the premises,” the DGP said.
The terror probe was ordered after nails and marbles were found strewn inside the mangled car and the blast site. A search of the house of the deceased, Jameesha Mubin, in the city yielded an unspecified quantity of potassium nitrate, aluminium powder, sulphur and charcoal that the police suspect were meant to make explosives. Mubin might have been carrying a bagful of nails and marbles to his house as part of preparations for some “future sabotage activity”, the DGP said.
Investigators detained some people, including a resident of Coonoor who had been in touch with the young man. The DGP iterated that the probe so far suggested it was a coincidence that the explosion occurred near the temple.
Though Mubin had no pending police cases against him and was not known to be part of any outfit, he was in contact with a few individuals under the police radar. These contacts are members of certain outfits, the DGP said without naming them. Six police teams were formed to probe different aspects such as Mubin’s antecedents, the owner of the car and the source of the LPG cylinders. A few residents of the locality, including a milk vendor, a grocer, priests of the Sangameswarar temple and two women who sleep in the shrine were quizzed.
CCTV footage from the locality was collected for scrutiny. By Sunday evening, Mubin’s identity had been confirmed, leading to the search of his house. A case was registered at Ukkadam police station under the Section 174 (suspicious death) of the CrPC and 3 (a) of the Explosive Substances Act. The entire Kottaimedu locality was under a security blanket till late Sunday.

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