NIA files supplementary chargesheet against five in Coimbatore car bomb blast case

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The case relates to an explosion that occurred on October 23, 2018, in front of the ancient Arulmigu Kottai Sangameshwarar Thirukovil Temple at Eswaran Kovil Street in Ukkadam, Coimbatore. 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday i.e. June 2, 2023, filed chargesheet against five people in an explosion that took place at the ancient temple "Arulmigu Kottai Sangameshwarar Thirukovil" at Eswaran Kovil Street, Ukkadam, Coimbatore in October 2022.

In the explosion, a vehicle-borne Improvised Explosives Device (V-IED) driven by one Jamesha Mubeen had blown up in front of the temple. Mubeen was killed in the blast.

The five men chargesheeted are Umar Faaruq, Firose Khan, Mohamed Thoufeeq, Sheikh Hidayatullah, and Sanofar Ali. 

Investigations have revealed that Jamesh Mubeen, along with Mohammed Asarutheen, Umar Faaruq, Sheikh Hidayathullah, and Sanoder Ali, had conspired to carry out a series of suicidal terror attacks in Coimbatore city. The attack was intended to wreak revenge on the Kafirs (non-believers), as stated in one of the self-made confessional videos, made a few days before the intended attack.

The NIA investigations also revealed that the two accused, Asarutheen and Afsar, had helped Hamesha Mubeen to procure, mix and prime the explosives, while Md. Talha had provided the car that was used in the crime. Three accused, Feroz, Riyaz, and Nawaz, had helped Jamesha load the various building blocks of the IED, including drums and gas cylinders into the car.

“The conspiracy was hatched in the forest area of Sathyamangalam in Erode district of Tamil Nadu, where Umar Faaruq was elected as the Amir (Commander of Army) to lead the execution of the attack. He in turn assigned various roles to the other accused persons. The conspirators had planned to use the remaining explosives for a series of terror attacks. Mohammad Thoufeeq was in possession of radical books and a notepad handed over by Jamesha Mubeen containing designs to make IEDs”, the NIA press release read.

It also stated that Faaruq and Mubeen had also collected funds for the commission of the terror act, while the accused Sanofer Ali had also supported Mubeen financially for the same. Firose Khan had abetted the terror attack by providing logistic support.

“The larger aim of the conspiracy was to wage war against the government of India by targeting its various branches, i.e. general administration, police, judiciary, etc.”, the agency’s press release stated.

Notably, on April 20, the agency had filed chargesheet against six people in the case. The NIA Investigations had revealed that Mubeen was inspired by ISIS ideology to carry out this attack. He had also taken ‘bayath’ or oath of allegiance to its self-proclaimed Caliph Abu-al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

“A pen drive recovered from Mohammed Asarutheen contained video recordings of Jamesha Mubeen, where he had identified himself as a member of Daulat-e-Islamia (or Islamic State). He had spoken extensively on his intention to commit a suicide terror attack against the ‘kafirs’ (non-believers) and to become a martyr. Mubeen was inspired by the bayans (sermons) of Zahran Hashim, a radical Islamic cleric of Sri Lanka, who masterminded the Easter serial suicide bomb attacks in 2019 killing around 260 people. Mubeen wanted to orchestrate a similar kind of attack against the ‘kafirs’ in India”, the press release had stated.

The Agency’s presss release had stated that handwritten notes were recovered from Mubeen’s residence wherein criticism of the existing democratic system, which is not in tandem with Islamic laws, had been mentioned. It had also mentioned of the ‘targets’, including Government Office buildings, District Court, public gathering places like Parks, Railway station, and a few other local Temples.

“Islamic State of Khorasan Province’s online magazine called ‘Voice of Khorasan’ corroborated this in an article titled, ‘A Message to the Inhabitants in the Land Occupied by Cow and Mice Worshipping Filths’ where ISKP took responsibility for the attack held at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu”, the NIA press release had stated.

“The article goes on to state that the attack was revenge to uphold the honor of their religion and to establish Allah’s deen and his law upon his land and to terrorize the ‘Kufr’ and its followers with the threat that it was just the beginning”, it had added.