Saturday, December 10, 2022

Bomb explosion in autorickshaw: Karnataka CM says suspect had terror links

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said the suspect who allegedly carried out a bomb explosion in Mangaluru had terror links as he had travelled to various places, including Coimbatore in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
According to the preliminary information, it was an LED-linked instrument, the Chief Minister told reporters here.
The blast occurred on Saturday evening inside an autorickshaw, near a police station, leaving the passenger and the driver injured. Both have been admitted to hospital.
According to police sources, a cooker fitted with detonator, wires and batteries were used to trigger the blast. After the explosion, the interiors of the autorickshaw were badly damaged.
“When the antecedents of the suspect was carried out, it becomes very apparent that the name mentioned in the Aadhaar card found from the spot was different from the person who was carrying it. The suspect had a duplicate Aadhaar card. It had a Hubballi address,” Bommai said.
The Chief Minister said more details emerged when the police tracked the original address of the suspect and the locations where he had stayed.
“Prima facie, this is a terror act. The places he had travelled to such as Coimbatore or any other places clearly point to his terror link,” Bommai said.
He added that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials have also joined the state police in investigating the matter. A four-member team of the NIA has arrived at the spot and are coordinating with the police.
Regarding the terror incident’s link with the banned outfit Popular Front of India, Bommai said the investigation will reveal the truth.
Meanwhile, police sources said the suspect had obtained a mobile SIM card using the fake Aadhaar card, which was found from the site of explosion. That SIM card was used everywhere by him, they said.
Sources added that five teams have been dispatched to different locations including Coimbatore to investigate the case.
Police suspect that the person had links with those who had carried out a car blast in Coimbatore in October ahead of Deepavali. On October 23, a youth was charred to death when a cylinder exploded in a moving car outside a temple in Coimbatore. The case is being probed by the NIA.
The police sources suspected that the terror suspect hailed from Shivamogga and might have been involved in the objectionable graffiti in the town. Recently, a few terror suspects were arrested from Shivamogga including some youth who were in touch with the terror outfit Islamic State (IS) through social media.
TN Police interrogating man
A 40-year-old man is being questioned here in connection with the autorickshaw blast in Karnataka’s Mangaluru as the mobile SIM card used by the accused was allegedly bought using his Aadhar card, police said on Sunday.
Based on information, police rushed to Kundasappai village and questioned Surendran about the incident, where the accused got the SIM card through his Aadhar card, they said.
Police had claimed that the SIM card used by the accused was bought by submitting a fake Aadhar card which led police to Surendran.
Interrogation is underway to ascertain whether Surendran had helped the accused to buy the SIM card or the accused used the number without his knowledge, they added.
Surendran is being taken to Coimbatore for further interrogation.
Karnataka’s police chief has said the blast was an ‘act of terror’.
Meanwhile, police intensified vehicle checks on the outskirts of Coimbatore, particularly those coming from Karnataka on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border at Anaikatty and Mangarai, police pointed out.
Security has also been beefed up in the city with police teams carrying out baggage checks of passengers at railway stations, bus stands and of those moving in suspicious manner at places where large crowds are seen.
Since many trains are coming from Mangaluru, security was tightened at the railway stations, police said.
Additional police force have been deployed in the city and rural areas.

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