BANGALORE: Five more men have been taken into custody by Bangalore police in connection with the April 17 bomb blast on Temple Street, Malleswaram.
Of the five men, four were remanded from Salem jail with a prison transit warrant. They were brought to Bangalore on Monday night and will be produced before a local court on Tuesday for police custody.
The total number of arrests in the blasts case now stands at nine. All these arrests have been made in Tamil Nadu.
The four men brought on transit warrant from Salem Prison were identified as Rehamatullah, Asgar Ali, Hakeem and Tenkasi Suleman. Sleuths from CCB in a Sunday late night operation in Coimbatore arrested one Suleman alias Man Bhai. Suleman too was brought to the city on Monday night.
The five men were produced before the court of first ACMM Venkatesh R Hulagi late on Monday. Four others who had been arrested earlier in the blasts case too were produced in the court as their police custody was to end on Monday. Judge Hulagi remanded all the nine persons in police custody till Tuesday. They will be produced before the court again on Tuesday.
Rehamatullah, an auto driver in Coimbatore, was arrested a month ago in connection with a rioting case and was lodged in Salem Jail.
Asgar Ali, also an auto driver and Hakeem, an upholsterer, were arrested in the last week of April in connection with the attack on a local Hindu Makkal Katchi leader, Arjun Sampath.
Police sources say that Arjun Sampath was attacked with petrol bombs in the second week of April. Police sources say they were arrested by Coimbatore police when they were returning to the city after fleeing from it after the attack. Tenkasi Suleman, also an auto driver, was recently arrested during a protest for possession of petrol bombs.
Barring Rehamatullah, the other three persons brought from Salem prison were out on and during the days before April 17. Lastly, Suleman alias Man Bhai was a fish trader in the Coimbatore market.
“The arrested are all from lower middle class and don’t have the financial resources to carry out such an attack, which leads to the conclusion that there are many more involved,” said a senior police officer.
He also refused to comment on the organisational affiliations of those arrested till now. He did not rule out the possibility of a new fundamentalist group in Tamil Nadu being behind the Malleswaram blast.