Man in touch with blast accused picked up from Bengaluru

Police investigating the Mangaluru blast case on Monday picked up a person from Bengaluru who was allegedly in touch with the blast accused Shariq while another was detained in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris and brought to Karnataka.

A PTI report cited a police official as saying that one person from KG Halli has been picked by the Bengaluru police and handed over to the Mysuru police. The person is a native of Mysuru.

A blast occurred in an autorickshaw in front of Kankanadi police station in Mangaluru on November 19, injuring the auto driver, and the passenger Shariq is suspected to be the accused. Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) Praveen Sood called it an “act of terror”.

“It’s confirmed now. The blast is not accidental but an ACT OF TERROR with intention to cause serious damage. Karnataka State Police is probing deep into it along with central agencies,” Sood had tweeted on Sunday.

Police said that 24-year-old Shariq from Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district of Karnataka was in the autorickshaw with a pressure cooker fitted with detonator, wires and batteries. He had suffered burn injuries, and is currently being treated at a Mangaluru hospital.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Alok Kumar on Monday said at a press conference that Shariq was allegedly influenced and inspired by a (terrorist) organisation with global presence, adding that Shariq’s handler was Abdul Mateen Taha from Suddaguntepalya (in Bengaluru) on whom the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had announced a Rs 5 lakh reward.

The ADGP said that while Taha was the main handler, Arafat Ali from Thirthahalli was also involved in a similar role.

Taha along with Khwaja and Mohammed Pasha from Tamil Nadu were booked under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act at Suddaguntepalya in Bengaluru in 2020, Kumar added.

Kumar also said that police found matchbox, sulphur, phosphorus, batteries, circuit and nut and bolts from his house, which he had rented in Mysuru. The owner of the house, Mohan Kumar was not aware of his activities.