The Coimbatore city police have arrested five Muslim youths for allegedly planning to kill Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) leader Arjun Sampath and Sakthi Sena leader Anbu Mari.
The city police had received a tip-off from Central intelligence agencies regarding the murder plan. The Coimbatore police have arrested five Muslim youth, out of which four Muslim youths have been already on the radar of the Central intelligence agencies.
Reportedly, four out of the five arrested are from Chennai and another person is resident of Coimbatore. The four persons from Chennai are identified as Jafar Safiq Ali (29), Ismail (25) of Tindivanam, Samsudeen (20) of Pallavaram and Shalavuddin (25) of Pallavaram, while Ashik (25) hails from Coimbatore.
The five Muslim youths had plans to kill HMK leader Arjun Sampath and also had plans for his son Omkar Balaji, as he was an easy target. It is reported that these arrested individuals used to regularly spread hatred against Hindu leaders on social media.
It is reported that one of the five members is said to be a sympathiser of the Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir and also a member of the banned terrorist organisation, while another two Chennai youths were members of political parties. Ashik is accused in several cases, including cases of kidnapping young girls.
“Though these youth did not have any previous enmity with the leader, they were inspired by the IS module and other radical religious outfits and hatched a plot,” a senior official said. According to the police, Ismail runs a wastepaper mart, is alleged to be an IS member and had previously shared information regarding the terrorist group on his Facebook page. The officer said that “He was using his Facebook accounts—Niranthara Payanam and A Muslim without Fear—to share IS-related information. He had sent a photo of him posing with his motorcycle carrying a sticker ‘State of India and Jammu & Kashmir’ to his friends”, the officer said.
However, the accused have claimed that they had come to Coimbatore to attend a wedding, but, the police confirmed that they were not even invited to a wedding. Instead, they were in the city to meet each other and plan the murder of the Hindu leader before the upcoming Vinayagar Chathurthi (Ganesh Chaturthi).
One of the accused said that all of them had met through social media website. Ismail said that they were inspired by the IS and used to share information on Whatsapp and Facebook. They wanted to murder Arjun Sampath and Anbu Mari, as they allegedly used bad words against Islam. The police have booked all the five under Sections 143 and 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 15,16,18,20 and 38 (ii) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
The Coimbatore police had earlier received intelligence confirming that there was a plot to kill Arjun Sampath and his son Omkar Balaji and Omkar had indeed received death threats two months ago.