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Indian police find Link between Coimbatore car cylinder explosion, 1998 serial blasts, Lanka Easter bombings

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A probe into a recent cylinder blast, in a car, in Coimbatore, has revealed a link with the serial blasts that happened in the Tamil Nadu city, 24 years ago, and the 2019 Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, an Indian media report said.The report published by The Federal said: In 1998, 58 people had died in serial blasts in Coimbatore and more than 200 were injured. The explosions had targeted then national president of the BJP, LK Advani, in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition.

In Sri Lanka, more than 250 people were killed in the Easter bombings in 2019.On 23 October, 75-kg of explosives, including potassium nitrate, were seized from the residence of 29-year-old Jameesha Mubeen who was killed after a gas cylinder exploded in a car he was travelling, in Coimbatore. Mubeen is suspected to have played a key role in a conspiracy bid to carry out sabotage activities.

Investigation by the special team, in Coimbatore, said Mubeen was not a suicide bomber, and he did not know how to handle explosives. “He was not keeping well. In fact, he had suicidal thoughts. But he probably never planned to kill himself in a blast,” a police officer, who is part of the investigation, told The Federal.People who knew Mubeen said that he did not have many friends and mostly kept aloof. Until 2019, he was working at a book shop and later, he was asked to leave after the NIA raided his house, at GM Nagar, in Ukkadam.

Later, he started to make a living by selling old clothes. “He used to get old shirts for INR 5-10, and have them dry-cleaned, which would cost INR10-15. Then, he would pack them and sell them on the platforms and in markets for a cheaper price. That is how he was making a living for all these years,” said a relative of Mubeen.According to police, Mubeen and others had planned terror attacks, in Coimbatore, in at least five places.

“He had collected chemicals, used in country-made bombs. Mubeen, along with a few others, was seen shifting things from his house. So, it was understood that they had planned the attack, but the target was different,” a senior police official, who is part of the investigation, told The Federal.

“During the search, we recovered a piece of paper in which Mubin had written down the names of five places. These might have been his targets. These five places were the police commissioner’s office, the collector’s office, the railway station, the race course, and Victoria town hall,” the official said.

According to the Tamil Nadu Police, one of the six accused in the explosion case, confessed, during interrogation, that he met two men in a Kerala prison who had links with an ISIS group involved in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.Feroze Ismail confessed that he had met Mohammed Azharuddin and Rashid Ali, lodged in a prison in the neighbouring state, and further questioning is on to ascertain the motive behind the meeting, they said. Azharuddin and Ali are in jail in connection with a case against them in the neighbouring state.

Five accused were taken to their houses and searches were carried out, police said. Police have arrested five people who had been in contact with Mubeen, and charged them under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Mubeen was under the NIA radar in 2019 in the aftermath of the Easter bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, but no case was filed against him, police said.

A link between the 1998 serial blasts and the recent cylinder explosion has emerged with the terror organisation Al-Ummah. One of the six arrested now – Mohammed Thalka or Dalqa is the son of Al-Ummah chief Syed Ahmed Basha’s brother, Nawab Khan, who is in prison now serving a life term and 27 years of rigorous imprisonment in connection with the 1998 serial blasts.On Friday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered a case to probe the cylinder blast.



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Full implementation of 13A: NFF vows to torpedo Ranil’s move, asks Dinesh, Mahinda to disclose their stance

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By Shamindra Ferdinando

The National Freedom Front (NFF), a constituent member of Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya (NJS), has declared that it would oppose President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bid to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The patriotic people were ready to defeat such plans, even at the expense of their lives, the party has vowed.

The breakaway JVP faction consists of six MPs, including former minister Wimal Weerawansa. The NJS is contesting the Local Government polls, scheduled for March 09, under the ‘Helicopter’ symbol.

NFF spokesperson, MP Jayantha Samaraweera, on Monday (30), told the media that his party was ready to lead a campaign against the UNP leader’s move to do away with constitutional safeguards meant to ensure Sri Lanka’s unitary status. The Lawmaker addressed the media at the NFF main office, at Pitakotte.

Having declared his intention to fully implement the controversial constitutional amendment at the Thai Pongal celebrations, in Jaffna, on January 15, President Wickremesinghe reiterated his commitment to the Eelam project during the party leaders’ meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, the former State Minister said.

Lawmaker Samaraweera asked Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and twice President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had flanked President Wickremesinghe, at the party leaders’ meeting, to disclose their stand on 13th Amendment.

The Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya, consisting of NFF, Democratic Left Front, Communist Party, Lanka Samasamaja Pakshaya, Pivuthuru Hela Urumaya, Vijayadharani Jathika Sabhawa, Yuthukama, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Nidahasa Janatha Sabhawa, Jana Jaya Peramuna, Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya and Nidahas Janatha Peramuna, has yet to disclose its position on this issue.

MP Samaraweera attacked the President, close on the heels of NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who is also the Chairman of the Uththara Lanka Sabhagaya (ULS), questioning the legitimacy of the move. Lawmaker Weerawansa addressed this issue at a meeting held at the BMICH, on January 26, to discuss ways and means to thwart the move to privatize the CEB.

The ULS consisting of seven political parties, and groups, is aligned with the NJS.

Referring to the circumstances UNP leader Wickremesinghe re-entered Parliament, through the National List, nearly a year after the last General Election, former Minister Weerawansa emphasized the President didn’t have a mandate to fully implement the 13th Amendment. How could the UNP leader abolish Sri Lanka’s unitary status, having received an opportunity to complete Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s remainder of five-year term, won at the Nov. 2019 Presidential Election.

The MP challenged their erstwhile comrades, in the JVP, to state their position on the 13th Amendment. Alleging that the JVP had been conveniently silent on the issue at hand, MP Samaraweera asked whether the current leadership would take up Wickremesinghe’s challenge.

In addition to Weerawansa and Samaraweera, Yuthukama leader Gevindu Cumaratunga, MP, has declared opposition to the President’s move, at the party leaders’ meeting.

Of the SLPP parliamentary group, retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera is the only MP to publicly oppose Wickremesinghe’s proposal.

Political sources said that the NJS, as a group contesting the forthcoming LG polls, was yet to deliberate this issue and take a stand. They said that consensus was required without further delay as the President’s proposal would be a major issue at the forthcoming election.

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PHU, too, opposes land, police powers to PCs

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A lawyers’ group, aligned with Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), yesterday (31) said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe couldn’t unilaterally decide on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Attorneys-at-Law Pasan Gunasekera and Bhupathi Kahathuduwa, in a statement issued, explained why police and land powers, in terms of the controversial amendment, shouldn’t be granted to Provincial Councils. Abolition of current constitutional safeguard would undermine Sri Lanka’s unitary status thereby paved the way for a new conflict.

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Bangladesh FM to deliver LK memorial lecture

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Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, will deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture at Block 3, Jasmine Hall, BMICH, on February 03, at 6 pm.

The LTTE assassinated the then Foreign Minister, Kadirgamar, on Aug. 12, 2005.

FM Momen will deliver the annual lecture on the invitation of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies.

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