One of the suspects in the Coimbatore car blast 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, police sources said on Friday.

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 Kerala.

Five accused were taken to their houses and searches were carried out, police said. Meanwhile, police continued vehicle checks in Coimbatore district and took into their custody unclaimed and abandoned motorcycles and cars parked on the roadside.

Also, officials intensified vehicle checks at police and forest outpost locations on Tamil Nadu’s border with Kerala. Police also stepped up searches on the premises of suspects in other parts of the State.

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. Mubeen is suspected to have played a key role in a conspiracy bid to carry out sabotage activities here.

The Deepavali eve explosion happened while he was moving past a temple in the car in Coimbatore and he had tried to evade a police check post.

Six persons have so far been arrested in connection with the car explosion case and the National Investigation Agency has taken up the investigation following a recommendation by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.