In a gun battle that lasted over 12 hours, two key suspects involved in the 2011 Advani pipe bomb case and recent murders of BJP and Sangh parivar unit leaders, were arrested from a house at Puthur in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, a top official said.
"Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik have been arrested," Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam said.
With this, three of the four suspects in the cases were arrested by Crime Branch CID of Tamil Nadu Police.
Based on information from Fakruddin, who was arrested yesterday, police surrounded a house at Puthur in Andhra Pradesh, some 120 km from here, around 3 am.
Tense moments prevailed in the area as a gun battle broke out between the police and suspects. Ramanujam said a police inspector was injured when he was attacked by the accused before they locked themselves in the house.
"Police had to open fire in self-defence. (one of the key suspects) Panna Ismail was injured..", the DGP said.
The injured inspector has been admitted to the Neuro Intensive Care Unit of the Sri Ramachandra Medical Hospital here where hospital sources said his "condition is critical but stable".
Police later found out that Malik's wife and three children were also in the house and talks were held with the accused to let them out.
"Malik's wife and three children safely came out (later on)," the DGP said.
After over 12 hours, the two accused were taken to a secret place for further inquiry. However, the fourth suspect Abu Backer Siddique is still at large.
The arrest of the three key suspects, comes days ahead of BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Chennai on October 18.
Special Investigation Division of CB-CID Police, probing the murder of senior state unit BJP functionary Auditor Ramesh and Hindu Munnani leader Vellaiyappan, recently intensified efforts to trace four suspects in the cases and printed one lakh posters announcing a Rs five lakh cash prize each for information on them. The four were also wanted in connection with the planting of a pipe bomb on the yatra route of BJP leader LK Advani near Tirumangalam in Madurai District.