Terrorist link surfaces in Mangaluru blast

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Bengaluru: A terrorist connection has now come to the fore in the auto rickshaw blast case that took place on November 19 in Mangaluru city of Karnataka. Shariq, who was injured in the low-intensity cooker bomb blast, is learned to be in contact with a youth associated with the Al-Hind module.

Three cases are already registered against Shariq. The possibility of handing over the investigation of this blast to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has increased if there is a terrorist connection.

In fact, a low intensity explosion took place in an auto rickshaw in Kankanadi police station area in Mangaluru, Karnataka at around 5 pm on Saturday. Auto passenger Mohammad Shariq and rickshaw driver Purushottam Pujari were injured in the blast. Injured Mohammad Shariq was admitted to Father Muller Hospital in Mangaluru. Shariq’s role in the police interrogation and investigation seemed suspicious.

In this regard, ADGP (Law and Order) Alok Kumar said on Monday that two FIRs have been registered against the accused Sharik in Mangaluru and one in Shivamogga district. In two of these cases, he was arrested under UAPA. Shariq, who was sitting as a passenger in the auto rickshaw, had a cooker bomb in a bag which exploded, they said. He said that during the investigation, information has been received about Shariq’s handler, Arafat Ali, who is also an accused in two cases. He was also in touch with Mussavir Hussain, associated with the Al-Hind module.

He told that five teams have been formed to investigate the matter. Searches were conducted at four places in Thirthahalli town of Shivamogga district and one place in Mangaluru city on Monday morning. During this some electronic equipment has been seized. During investigation, it was found that Shariq had come to Mangaluru on Saturday itself and had used a fake Aadhaar card. Many people related to this incident have been questioned. On this basis, it can be said that his actions are inspired and influenced by any terrorist organisation.

Karnataka Health Minister K.K. Sudhakar said in a statement that a similar incident took place in Coimbatore a few months back. He said that there too, a blast was planned near the temple. Accused Shariq had also gone to Coimbatore and met a person. The police have traced his movements in the last two months. We are also ascertaining whether Shariq has links with international terrorist organisations, banned organisations or sleeper cells that may be operating in the area.

The low-intensity blast in an auto rickshaw in Karnataka’s Mangaluru city has raised the possibility of handing over the probe to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after terror links emerged. Earlier on Sunday, Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) Praveen Sood termed the blast in an auto rickshaw in Mangaluru as a terrorist incident.

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