Lanka blasts: Three men held in Coimbatore

Lanka blasts: Three men held in Coimbatore

S Murari

Three persons were arrested in Coimbatore on Thursday for their social media posts in praise of Easter Sunday bombing mastermind Zahran Hashim. Hashim and his brother were members of the Sri Lanka Towheed Jamaat believed to be behind the serial bomb blasts in churches and star hotels in Colombo and elsewhere that left over 250 dead.

Coimbatore police said they had booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act three from Ukkadam area of the city. They were Mohammed Hussain, A. Shajahan and Sheik Safiullah.

The police searched the houses of the three and seized mobile phones, SIM cards, hard disks, documents of bank accounts, pen drives, memory cards and other documents.

The crackdown followed the arrest of Muhammed Azaruddin, Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, on Wednesday.The National Investigation Agency, which has taken over the case, produced the three before a NIA special court in Kochi on Thursday.

Along Azaruddin, who was running a travel agency, the NIA also took to Kochi five other associates. They were Akram Sindhaa, Y. Shiek Hidayathullah, Abubacker M, Sadham Hussain and Ibrahim Shah.

It also said Shah was close to Riyas Abubacker of the Kerala module who was arrested ten days after the Easter Sunday bombing on suspicion that he planned to carry out similar terror attacks in Kerala.

NIA also claims that it had details of those who availed of Azaruddin’s travel agency. Supporters of Azaruddin said he only offered Umrah packages to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Umrah is pilgrimage which can be undertaken any time of the year unlike Haj which has a specific time.