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Mangaluru blast accused was 'inspired' by global terror outfit, say police — The case so far

Mangaluru blast accused was 'inspired' by global terror outfit, say police — The case so far

Mangaluru blast accused was 'inspired' by global terror outfit, say police — The case so far
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 21, 2022 3:35:18 PM IST (Published)

Mangaluru auto blast news: The press conference was held after the police carried out search operations in seven locations including Mangaluru, Shivamogga, Mysuru and Thirthahalli.

The Karnataka Police on Monday said the accused in the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast case was "inspired and influenced by some terrorist organisation which has a global presence". Earlier, the police had called the incident an 'act of terror'. Amid these claims, top intelligence sources told News18 that the suspect, Mohammed Shariq, may have been radicalised by the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and had several fake Aadhaar cards in his possession.

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In a press conference on Monday, a day after the incident, Karnataka ADGP, Law & Order, Alok Kumar, said premises were searched and a lot of explosives material, matchboxes, nut bolts, circuits were found. "We've come to know sources of it because some purchases were made online and some others offline. We're working on it," he was quoted by ANI as saying.
The press conference was held after the police carried out search operations in seven locations including Mangaluru, Shivamogga, Mysuru and Thirthahalli.
Laying put details of the accused, the ADGP said he had three cases against him — two in Mangaluru city and one in Shivamogga. "He has been booked under UAPA in two of the cases and he was wanted in the third case. He was on the run for a long time," police said.
Shariq was also involved in painting objectionable graffiti in Mangaluru earlier and was later released on bail. His name had also surfaced when a communal clash broke out over putting up the Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's photo at a public place on August 15 in the district headquarters town of Shivamogga.
The low-intensity blast, that occurred in an autorickshaw in Karnataka's Mangaluru city, is likely to be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), news agency ANI quoted sources as saying.
What we know in the Mangaluru blast case so far
  • Shariq, hailing from Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district, was travelling in an autorickshaw with a pressure cooker when it exploded on the outskirts of Mangaluru on Saturday. The cooker was fitted with detonator, wires and batteries were used to trigger the blast. According to police, a passenger was carrying a bag that had a cooker bomb. It exploded, causing burn injuries to the passenger as well as driver of the auto. "The auto driver is Purshottam Pujari and the passenger has been identified as Mohammed Shariq," said ADGP Alok Kumar.
  • Suspicion about terror links rose soon after the incident took place. Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said, “The information we received shows that there is a deep conspiracy behind the incident. It is visible that the perpetrators had a link with the terrorist organisations."
  • Police also suspected that it could be a failed suicide bombing attempt to cause maximum damage. However, sources alleged that Shariq was not a suicide bomber but was going to plant the bomb in a different place when it exploded in the three-wheeler.
  • The blast in Mangaluru bears resemblance to the car explosion in Coimbatore, police said. The suspect had used a mobile phone that had a SIM card obtained using the Tamil Nadu address, sources said.
  • The Tamil Nadu police earlier questioned a 40-year-old man in a village near Ooty as the SIM card used by the accused is suspected to have been bought using his Aadhaar card. He was being taken to Coimbatore for interrogation, the police said.
  • Shariq was earlier booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for objectionable graffiti on the walls of Mangaluru.
  • Police said they are trying to find out the 24-year old Shariq's links with people outside Karnataka. "His handler was Abdul Mateen Taha from Suddaguntepalya (in Bengaluru) on whom the National Investigation Agency has announced a reward of Rs five lakh," the ADGP said.
  • Moreover, police said Taha was the "main handler". He 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.
  • The suspect, Shariq, in currently being treated at the hospital. He had suffered burn injuries, is currently unable to speak.
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