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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Police intensifies probe into Rameshwaram Cafe blast, CM Siddaramaiah confident of nabbing culprit soon

Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda said the investigation into the Friday afternoon blast at the quick-service eatery in Brookfield area has been handed over to Central Crime Branch and that no arrest has been made yet

PTI Bengaluru, Mysuru Published 02.03.24, 08:35 PM
Security personnel stand guard at the Rameshwaram cafe blast site in Bengaluru.

Security personnel stand guard at the Rameshwaram cafe blast site in Bengaluru. PTI

As police intensified its probe into the March 1 bomb blast at a city eatery that left 10 injured, the Karnataka government on Saturday expressed confidence that those behind the incident will be nabbed at the earliest based on CCTV images but said it was not possible to specify at the moment if any outfit was involved in the incident.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda said the investigation into the Friday afternoon blast at the quick-service eatery in Brookfield area in the information technology corridor in East Bengaluru that left ten people injured has been handed over to Central Crime Branch and that no arrest has been made yet.

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He said that the investigation into the incident, caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), is in full swing, and "Several teams are working on different leads obtained so far." Earlier in the day, police sources said that four persons have been detained for questioning in connection with yesterday's low-intensity bomb blast at The Rameshwaram Cafe. They were picked up from Dharwad, Hubballi and Bengaluru.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had convened a meeting of the Home department to take stock of the situation, during which he instructed senior police officers to leverage technology effectively in investigation and ensure that the "full truth" of the incident comes out.

Asking officials to take action against anti-social elements without any sympathy, he instructed them to speed up the investigation in the case and to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Earlier, Siddaramaiah expressed confidence about nabbing the culprit involved in the blast at the cafe, as his movement had been captured by the cameras.

It was still not known whether any organisation was involved in the incident.

"One person wearing a mask and cap had come by bus, bought Rava Idly from the counter at the cafe and sat down at a place. Then he had set the timer and gone," he told reporters in Mysuru. All the injured persons were safe.

"We will find the culprit, it will be easy as his visuals alighting from the bus, purchasing tiffin at the eatery, sitting at a place and placing a bag have all come. We will find him at the earliest," he added.

Asked about some reports suggesting similarities between the 2022 Mangaluru pressure cooker blast and Friday's incident, Siddaramaiah said serious investigations are on.

Later in the day, the CM visited the Rameshwaram Cafe and inspected the spot, and also met the injured, who are undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said there seems to be a link between the blast at the Cafe, and the cooker explosion that took place in the coastal city of Mangaluru in 2022, and all angles are being looked into by the police. He said the government is committed to a fair probe.

"There seems to be a link between Mangaluru incident and this incident, according to police officers...materials used (for explosions), we can see a similarity, we can see a link, timer and other things. Police officers from Mangaluru and Shivamogga too have come here," Shivakumar said.

In Mangaluru, an improvised explosive device (IED) kept inside a pressure cooker accidentally went off when it was being taken in an autorickshaw in November, 2022. Probe into the blast had revealed that the IED was meant to be planted at the Kadri Manjunatha temple. Investigators had found that the Mangaluru cooker blast was "Islamic State-sponsored" and had the involvement of a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.

Home Minister G Parameshwara said investigators have gathered certain information from CCTV footage and footage from the city's public transport buses was also being analysed as part of the probe to nab the culprit.

"Several teams have been formed to investigate. In-depth investigation is going on with seriousness, some traces have been found. Some information has been gathered from CCTV footage...there is information that he (suspect) had come by bus. So, 26 buses have been verified at Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)," Parameshwara said.

On the basis of the "theory of elimination", more buses are being verified for footage, as BMTC buses have cameras.

At this moment it is not possible to say whether any organisation or an individual was involved, the Home Minister said. There were certain theories during his visit to the cafe last night, expressing suspicion that someone might have done it out of "heartburn", unable to digest the cafe's success and expansion.

"We will look into all angles. Whichever angle it might be, we will verify them and catch the culprits behind the blast," he said.

According to official sources, images of the suspect's movement have been captured by the CCTV cameras at Rameshwaram cafe and those nearby. The CCTV footage shows the suspect with a bag, wearing a cap and mask, walking and looking at wristwatch.

"We are positive about the leads we are getting in nabbing the culprit," an official said.

Sleuths from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and National Security Guard (NSG) reached the spot to help the local police in the investigation and shared some inputs with them.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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