Mangaluru blast case: Unknown terrorist outfit claims responsibility
The autorickshaw blast case in Mangaluru, Karnataka has taken a new twist on Thursday after a little-known terrorist outfit—Islamic Resistance Council—claimed responsibility for the incident, PTI reported. The accused—Mohammad Shareeq—was to target the famous Manjunath Temple in Kadri, it said, citing a letter claiming responsibility. However, the police officials were yet to verify the claims.
Why does this story matter?
- The police had first declared the explosion in Mangaluru as a fire incident on November 19.
- However, Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood acknowledged it was an "act of terror" the next day while citing a news report on Twitter.
- The involvement of central agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in addition to state investigators, in the probe demonstrates the gravity of the matter.
What does the letter say?
"We the Islamic Resistance Council (IRC) would like to convey the message. One of our Mujahid brothers Mohammed Shareeq attempted to attack the Hindutva Temple in Kadri (Dakshina Kannada district), a bastion of the Saffron terrorists in Mangaluru," reads the letter, which has gone viral on social media. The letter's origin is being confirmed, reports said, but senior police officers are tight-lipped about it.
Threat issued to senior police officer Alok Kumar
The letter was received by the Intelligence Department, and it also carries a threat to senior police officer Alok Kumar, as per reports. "It is not clear where the letter came from. The name of this organization came to the fore for the first time," sources told PTI. "We are investigating if the letter is even authentic," they said.
Blast accused inspired by ISIS terror outfit
On November 21, the Karnataka Police claimed a major breakthrough in the case, saying that the accused was "inspired" by the ISIS terror outfit and used the dark web to contact his handlers, said reports. The accused allegedly worked under multiple handlers, and one of them belonged to Al-Hind—a terror group influenced by ISIS, NDTV had reported, quoting police officials.
The specifics of the incident
Shareeq, a native of Shivamogga, was traveling in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru with an improvised explosive device (IED) in a pressure cooker. The IED reportedly detonated, leaving him with serious burn injuries. He is now being treated at a hospital. "Our priority is to see that he survives, we have to take him to a stage where we can question him," police said.
Accused was using a false identification
The police had said that Shareeq, who received 50% burn injuries in the explosion, was using a fake identification (ID) card that identified him as Premraj Hutagi of Hubballi. They said he had boarded the autorickshaw at Mangaluru's Naguri as it was coming from Mangalore Junction Railway Station. Moreover, the autorickshaw, as per the police, is registered in the name of one Durga Parmeshwari.