A man has been detained in Coimbatore for his alleged links with the main accused in the autorickshaw blast in coastal Karnataka's Mangaluru Saturday. The police have confirmed the incident as "an act of terror" and is probing the incident along with central agencies.
Surendran, Tamil Nadu police sources told NDTV, had once stayed with blast accused Shareeq at a dormitory and also gave him his Aadhaar card to procure a SIM card.
A native of Nilgiris, Surendran is a Physical Education Teacher in Coimbatore.
"We have probed him and verified the circumstances under which he stayed with him. He appears to be innocent. We have shared the information with Mangaluru Police," an investigating officer told NDTV.
Shareeq visited Coimbatore, Madurai, Nagercoil and Aluva (Kerala) days before the Saturday blast and had received a consignment via Amazon in Kerala, NDTV has learnt. "We are also investigating why he took the Madurai, Kanyakumari route to go to Kerala instead of Palakkad route from Coimbatore," Mr V Balakrishnan, Coimbatore police chief, told NDTV.
Special teams have been formed to investigate if he had met or had links with Jameesha Mubin, the prime accused in the recent car blast case in Coimbatore. The police have invoked sections of the stringent anti-terror law UAPA in the Coimbatore car blast after 75 kg of explosive raw materials were seized from the residence of Jameza Mubin who died in the blast.
The two are reportedly sympathisers of terror group ISIS but there has been no link to establish that they both knew each other, the police said.
According to police, Shareeq is part of the base movement present in a few southern states.
"Shareeq was not on our radar. He wasn't even in the local intelligence list. Hi not from Tamil Nadu. So far there is no evidence of links between the two," an officer said.
On the nature of the explosive devices, the officer added: "Jameesha Mubin did not have any timer device which he could operate remotely whereas the device used in Mangalore had an integrated circuit and this appears to be a separate Shimoga module".
The state police have intensified security across the state. Tamil Nadu's Director General of Police Dr Sylendra Babu told NDTV "We have intensified security across the state particularly in border districts".
Shareeq , who was travelling in the auto, suffered injuries along with the driver in the blast and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital. Though he is out of danger, the police say he is not well enough to give a statement.
The police said he was carrying a low-intensity Improvised Explosive device or IED. A burnt pressure cooker fitted with batteries was found inside the vehicle.