Chennai: A convict in the 1998 Coimbatore bomb blast case, who was released following his jail term, has been arrested by the Coimbatore police for an audio conversation in which he allegedly threatens to kill Prime Minister Modi. The audio clip that went viral involves a conversation between Mohammed Rafiq, 53, and another man.
During the conversation, Rafiq reportedly says, “We have already decided that we will kill Modi. Who is bigger than that? We were the ones who planted bombs during(LK) Advani’s visit to Coimbatore in 1998. Not 67, I am someone who has damaged 160 vehicles. In 2014, I have got all (charged under) Goondas Act, National Security Act, Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act etc. We won’t go looking for trouble.”
The conversation reportedly revolves around financial dealings between Rafiq and Prakash, a contractor in Salem.
According to a report in the Times of India, Rafiq’s statements appear to be an attempt to intimidate Prakash rather than a conspiracy to kill the Prime Minister. In the 8-minute audio clip, Rafique says, “You should understand that I’m not scared of anyone.” And with Prakash suggesting that the convict appears not to be scared of Modi either, Rafiq replies, “Yes, we have planned to even kill Modi.”
Rafiq was booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity among different groups on grounds of religion) and 506 (2) (criminal intimidation).
According to a report in The Hindu, the arrest was from the direct orders of the Coimbatore Police Commissioner Periaiah with the Kuniamuthu Sub Inspector Damodaran acting on the clip, which he received through a social media platform.
TOI quotes one investigating official as saying, “Even though he had been doing illegal businesses ever since his release, no complaint was registered against him.”
The 1998 Coimbatore bombings rocked the city on February 14, killing 58 people and injuring over 200 in a series 12 blasts across the city. The Justice PR Gokulakrishnan Commission of Inquiry on the blasts found that Rafiq and two others were to be human bombs but were unable to penetrate the security surrounding LK Advani.