The Coimbatore police on Monday arrested Mohammed Rafiq – a convict in the 1998 Coimbatore blast case, on charges of planning a conspiracy to eliminate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This arrest was prompted by a telephonic conversation Rafiq had with a businessman, where he is supposedly heard saying that he is planning to kill the Prime Minister.
This eight minute telephonic conversation had gone viral on social media. The conversation between Rafiq and a transport contractor named Prakash mainly dealt with vehicular financing, with the businessman named Prakash demanding a vehicle back and Rafiq asking Rs 5 lakh for it.
The conversation though suddenly took a morbid turn when Rafiq claimed that “they” were planning to kill PM Modi, and that it was “them” who had planted bombs during LK Advani’s Coimbatore visit in 1998. Rafiq is also heard claiming that he has various cases against him and had destroyed over 100 vehicles.
On 14 February 1998, the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu was rocked with serial bomb blasts which resulted in 58 deaths. The main target of the blasts was believed to be veteran BJP leader LK Advani.
In this matter Mohammed Rafiq was convicted under various sections like criminal conspiracy and came out of jail in 2007 after serving his sentence. Ever since, he has been under police surveillance and was charged under various other cases.
Since his arrest in the current matter, Rafiq has been booked under section 153A (Promoting enmity among groups) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. He has been remanded in judicial custody till 7 May.
As per reports, the cops have claimed that prima facie Rafiq was making such statements to intimidate the businessman. Supposedly during the interrogation, Rafiq in his defence has claimed that, his statement was merely meant to threaten the businessman, and there was no intention to kill PM Modi.
The report also claims that in context of the audio tape, Rafiq was heard boasting that he wasn’t scared of anyone, to this the businessmen retorted that “it appears you won’t even be scared of PM Modi”. This supposedly prompted a response from Rafiq where he is heard claiming that, “yes we have even planned to kill PM Modi”.