TN charitable trust key in Bangalore blast plan, terror attacks


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Sep 22, 2012
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A charitable trust set up in Tamil Nadu ostensibly to help members of the proscribed Al Ummah outfit has been named by police as having been pivotal in the planning and execution of the April 17 bomb blast outside a BJP office in Bangalore.
In documents placed before court along with the chargesheet in the case, the Bangalore police has said that the outfit, the Charitable Trust for Minorities, provided as much as Rs 1.5 lakh used in the funding of the blast.

Al Ummah members were accused in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts, targeted at BJP leader L K Advani. The trust was set up in 2010 ostensibly to help them fight their legal battles.

Citing statements by some of the 14 accused named in the chargesheet in the BJP office blast case, the Bangalore police has stated that the trust has emerged as a central figure in terrorist activities in Tamil Nadu following the ban on Al Ummah.

"After the ban, they (the accused) have been avoiding identifying themselves with the outfit (Al Ummah) but have been clandestinely active in unlawful activities. Now the accused persons have associated themselves with another outfit called CTM (Charitable Trust for Minorities) to carry out terrorist activities," states the chargesheet.

According to police records, the trust was created by a splinter group of Al Ummah after its founder S A Basha was found to have been using the organisation's funds for his own legal defence in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts case, while ignoring dozens of others arrested for it. The blasts had killed 58 persons ahead of an Advani rally.

One of the accused in the Bangalore case, police documents state, has said that the Charitable Trust for Minorities played a central role in funding several radical groups in Tamil Nadu, including remnants of the SIMI and polically active groups like the Popular Front of India and its Tamil Nadu affiliate.

Police say a central figure in handling the funds flowing into the trust, largely from the Gulf countries, was Kichan Buhari, a 38-year-old Al Ummah man. Also accused in the Coimbatore blasts, he was released a couple of years ago. Buhari has been named as a key accused in the BJP office blast case by the Bangalore police.

Police have stated in their chargesheet that Buhari dug into the Tamil Nadu trust funds to pay Rs 50,000 to Panna Ismail, another key accused, to organise the logistics for the blast at the BJP office.

On another occasion, Buhari is alleged to have provided Rs 1 lakh to Zulfiqar Ali, 24, who has been arrested. The money was provided on the request of 'Police' Fakruddin, the alleged explosives expert in the Al Ummah remnant group.

Despite Buhari's arrest, sources said, "The trust continues to receive funds. In the month of July and August, it received large amounts of funds from sympathisers in the Gulf."

Another key mover behind the trust is said to be an elusive Tamil Nadu man identified as Abu Backer Siddique, 45. On July 24, the Tamil Nadu director general of police had declared him a wanted man. A double graduate, Siddique is suspected to have helped organise the coming together of old Al Ummah activists to forge new associations.

Ismail, 38, Fakruddin, 35, and Bilal Malik, 25, were recently arrested by the Tamil Nadu police following an encounter in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh in connection with investigations into the killing of two right-wing Hindu leaders in Salem and Vellore in Tamil Nadu, and for an attempted bombing in 2011 of an Advani convoy.

Earlier linked to the Imam Ali faction of the Al Ummah, all three are named as the main perpetrators of the Bangalore BJP office blast case, including having planted the bomb.

TN charitable trust key in Bangalore blast plan, terror attacks: Police - Indian Express

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