Fundamentalists target Hindu leaders in state

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Chennai, May 16: The arrest of three Muslim fundamentalists in the city late on the night of May 15 was said to be a ''prize catch'' for the police as the trio had planned to eliminate Hindu leaders in Tamil Nadu.

The arrest of the trio, said to be members of the ''Iraivan Oruvane'' (God is one), a fundamentalist outfit floated by militant Thoufeeq, assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of police heightening security measures and intensifying checks in the wake of the serial blasts in Jaipur.

After a detailed interrogation, the trio -- S Palani Ommar (26) from Dindigul, Syed Kasim alias Heera (26) of Tirunelveli and ''Mannadi'' Khader (24) of Chennai -- were produced before the George Town Metropolitan Magistrate court and remanded in judicial custody last evening.

However, Thoufeeq, a notorious militant arrested in connection with an explosive case in the city and recently released from Mumbai prison after his detention under National Security Act, managed to give a slip to the police along with his associate Abu Tahir after a special police team, acting on specific reports, raided a lodge where they were staying.

Perhaps, there was a plan to do a Jaipur in Chennai too.

But fortunately, their activities has been nipped in the bud, police sources said and added that the group had come to the city to target leaders of some Hindu outfits, to destroy peace and religious harmony in the State.

They had also plans to trigger some random blasts in the State. We have spread a dragnet to nab Thoufeeq and his accomplice, the sources said.

They were arrested under 12 sections, including the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act.

Few pamphlets and other publicity materials were seized during the raids.

UNI

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