Five days after an LPG cylinder exploded in a car in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday took over the case to investigate the terror angle.
The NIA has re-registered the case involving the blast in a Maruti car, in which a person died, which was earlier registered by the Tamil Nadu police, an official of the NIA confirmed, requesting anonymity.
Jameesha Mubin, who was questioned by the NIA in 2019 for alleged terror links, was charred to death under suspicious circumstances.
The incident happened after an LPG cylinder inside a vehicle he was driving exploded near Kottai Eswaran temple in Ukkadam at around 4 am on Sunday morning, a day before Diwali.
The incident took place around 200 metres from a police patrol.
The NIA registered the case days after Tamil Nadu Chief minister MK Stalin recommended an NIA probe after the blast in a car on October 23.
The Tamil Nadu government has ordered an NIA probe after suspicion of international links in the blast.
Around 75 kg of explosives, including potassium nitrate, were seized from the residence of 29-year-old Mubeen, who was killed in the blast.
Mubeen has been named as the prime accused in the blast, and the state police also invoked the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the case.
As per the initial probe by the Tamil Nadu Police, Mubeen is said to have played a crucial role in a conspiracy bid to carry out subversive activities in Coimbatore.
Till now, the state police have arrested six persons in connection with the case.
Mubeen and the five arrested men were allegedly in contact with one Mohammad Azharuddin, who is currently lodged in jail over his links to the deadly Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka in 2019.
Based on certain CCTV visuals, the police arrested five men and booked them under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
According to police officials, a few of the arrested accused had visited Kerala earlier and they were questioned by the NIA in 2019.
In 2018, the NIA began an investigation into an ISIS Coimbatore module headed by Azharuddin.
Based on its probe, Indian agencies sent three alerts to Sri Lankan security agencies about a possible plan to carry out a major strike there.
After the Sri Lanka bombings killed over 250 people, the NIA registered a suo-motu case against six people from Coimbatore.
During its probe, the NIA found that Azharuddin and his associate, Sheikh Hidayatulla, were in touch with Sri Lanka bombings mastermind Maulvi Zahran bin Hashim and were planning to carry out similar strikes in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Hashim and Mohammad Azaan, one of the suicide bombers in the Sri Lanka attacks, visited India in 2017 and 2018 to discuss the plans of the Islamic State.