Tamil Nadu police on Monday intensified its investigation into the car explosion in Coimbatore, even as CCTV footage showed a group of men carrying a gunny bag from the house of Jemisha Mubeen, who was killed in the blast.
State director-general of police C. Sylendra Babu had on Sunday said that “low-intensive” explosive materials, including potassium nitrate, were recovered from the house of Mubeen. Potassium nitrate is used in making country bombs.
The CCTV footage near the house showed five people purportedly taking out a gunny bag from Mubeen’s house around 11.25pm on Saturday, police said.
The cylinder explosion in the car happened near Kottai Eswaran Temple in the busy and communally sensitive Ukkadam area around 4am on Sunday, they said. While one of the five could be Mubeen, investigation is on to identify the remaining members, police added. The police are also questioning seven people in this connection, based on the contact they made with Mubeen.
An auto-rickshaw driver from Coonoor in nearby Nilgiris district was brought here for interrogation, tracing his mobile phone signal at the place of explosion. A resident of Ottupattarai in Coonoor, he was living there for the last four months, police said. Mubeen was charred to death when a gas cylinder in the car in which he was travelling exploded on Sunday.
Nails, marbles and some other items were found in the vehicle, the DGP had earlier said. AIADMK interim general-secretary and Tamil Nadu’s leader of Opposition K. Palaniswami called for an independent probe into the matter to ascertain if the incident was an accident or a conspiracy. Training his guns against chief minister M.K. Stalin, who holds the home portfolio, Palaniswami asked what he had to say about the explosion.
“Whenever the DMK assumes power in Tamil Nadu, instances of bomb blasts become routine and recurring,” he alleged in a statement and claimed the incident exposed the lack of proper functioning of the police and the intelligence department. The police should probe the matter without any political pressure to ascertain if it was an accident or a conspiracy and whether there were any anti-social elements involved in it, he demanded.