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Rediff.com  » News » Did a 12-year-old boy plant a bomb at Advani's yatra?

Did a 12-year-old boy plant a bomb at Advani's yatra?

February 24, 2014 12:06 IST

The arrest of Paravai Badusha will help the police solve many terror cases including the BJP office blast in Bangalore and the 1998 Advani assassination bid in Coimbatore. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

Did a 12-year-old boy plant a pipe bomb at senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani’s 1998 rally in Coimbatore? The arrest of Paravai Badusha indicates exactly that.

Badusha, now a 27-year-old man, who was arrested by the Tamil Nadu and Kerala police on Sunday, is a suspect in multiple cases including the blast outside the BJP office in Bangalore on April 17, 2013.

The police have been quick to claim that Badusha is also a key suspect in the L K Advani assassination bid case after his arrest.

Going by Badusha’s current age it becomes clear that he was a 12-year-old boy in 1998. The police, when questioned about this aspect, were quick to say that they are still ascertaining his various roles and the final picture would come out soon.

However, the fact is that he was arrested in connection with various cases which include the BJP office blast in Malleshwaram, Bangalore, murders of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leaders in Salem and Vellore and also the Advani assassination case.

This is the basis on which they have sought his remand. The police, however, claimed that Badusha is a significant catch as he will help crack the Al-Ummah code.

He was picked up from Punalur in Kerala and was being tracked after inputs regarding his involvement in the BJP office blast cropped up. Badusha is the one who is alleged to have operated along with other accused Kitchan Buhari and Panna Ismail in the BJP office blast case.

What the police say is that Badusha was more into transporting of explosives and also made arrangements for the same thanks to his network in South India. When Badusha was arrested, the police also found on him 17 kilograms of explosives, a pistol and Rs 6 lakh in cash.

The police say that he is ideologically charged and a key member of the Al-Ummah. He has been in the business for a considerable amount of time and along with his associates continued the tradition of the Al-Ummah which was targeting the Sangh and BJP leaders.

“They believe in carrying out attacks which have a religious side to it and ever since the demolition of Babri Masjid they have stuck to just one agenda”, police sources point out.

The police say that they would look to get an insight into the Al-Ummah. This outfit carries out attacks once in three years almost and they have the frequency of their attacks low.

The Al-Ummah was founded in 1993 by Syed Ahmed Basha and M H Jawahirullah in Coimbatore. The members, who have been questioned by several agencies, say that this outfit took birth to target Sangh leaders in particular who they held responsible for the Babri Masjid demolition. The outfit announced itself with a bomb blast in 1993 when it targeted the RSS office in Chennai. The founder Basha was arrested for the attack but was released four years later.

One year after the release of Basha, they planned another attack and this time the target was L K Advani who was on an election campaign in Coimbatore. However, thanks to his flight being delayed the attack did not succeed.

While they did not manage to assassinate Advani, they succeeded in carrying out a series of blasts numbering 18 which claimed 58 lives.

When the Advani case was being investigated the name of Badusha did not figure. According to the police files, Fakruddin and Bilal Mullick had hatched the original conspiracy to target Advani. The duo was in Bangalore at the time the conspiracy was hatched.

After hatching the plan on October 27 1998, a powerful pipe bomb was planted under a bridge at the Alampatti village where Advani’s yatra was to pass. However Advani’s flight was delayed and the bomb went off before the yatra could pass, the police had said.

Image: LK Advani addressing a rally in 1998

Photograph: Reuters

Vicky Nanjappa