Mohammad Rafiq, convicted for 1998 Coimbatore blasts was arrested today for hatching a conspiracy to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is remanded to judicial custody for next 15 days. Coimbatore blasts occurred in 1998, it had claimed the lives of 58 people and more than 200 people were injured.
Rafiq was arrested based on a telephone conversation that became viral in social media, he suggested that he and his group had planned to kill PM Modi. The arrest follows a leaked telephonic conversation between Rafiq and another person identified as Prakash, a truck dealer from Salem district.
Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party leader K T Raghavan had shared what appeared to be the entire transcript of the allegedly leaked conversation on his Facebook profile.
கோவையிலிருந்து அஷ்ரப் னு ஒரு இஸ்லாமிய அன்பர் ஒருவர் போன் பண்ணார்….சார் ரீசன்டா கோவையை சார்ந்த எங்கள் இஸ்லாமிய…
The conversation was mainly related to finance issues on vehicles, but all of a sudden the blast convict was heard saying that they have decided to eliminate (Prime Minister) Modi. They further alleged that they were the ones who had planted bombs when (former deputy Prime Minister) L K Advani visited the city in 1998.
Rafiq confessed that he had destroyed and demolished 160 vehicles, he had many cases on him and he is afraid of none. He also claimed that he had been to all the prisons in Tamil Nadu and he had been booked under Goondas Act, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and the National Security Act.
Coimbatore Police formed a special investigation team to inquire about the alleged conspiracy to kill PM Modi.
He has been booked under two sections of Indian Penal code:
- Section 153(a) :- Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
- Section 506: Punishment for criminal intimidation.—Whoever commits, the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both; If threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.—And if the threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years .
Mohammad Rafiq was earlier arrested for bomb blast case at RSS headquarters in 1993 but was later acquitted in the same year. The police commissioner of Coimbatore assured that investigation will be carried out on the accused. He further added, “Even though he had been doing illegal businesses ever since his release, no complaint was registered against him”.