Mangaluru autorickshaw blast case: Police raid accused Shareeq's house
The Karnataka Police on Sunday raided the house of the accused, Shareeq, in the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast case, following the emergence of his terror links. According to NDTV, searches were conducted Shareeq's rented accommodation in Madahalli, Mysuru district. The accused is currently in hospital as he was injured in the blast. Notably, the preliminary investigation has indicated that he has terror links, cops said.
Why does this story matter?
- Immediately after the explosion in the autorickshaw on Saturday, the police said that it was a case of fire.
- However, Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood asserted it was an "act of terror" on Sunday morning while referencing a news item on Twitter.
- The fact that, in addition to state investigative authorities, central agencies are involved in the inquiry indicates the gravity of the issue.
What did officials say?
According to officials, the police searched the Mangaluru blast accused Shareeq's rented accommodation in Madahalli, which is around 13 kilometers from Mysuru. They said a bomb squad was also stationed in the area. The accused had rented a one-room apartment there last month and told the homeowner that he was in town for "mobile repair training," according to police sources quoted by NDTV.
How did 'explosion' take place in the autorickshaw?
The explosion occurred in Mangaluru, a communally sensitive coastal town located 370km from Bengaluru. The timing of the incident is also interesting as Karnataka is set to go to polls next year. Shareeq, who was the passenger in the said autorickshaw, was carrying a low-intensity improvised explosive device (IED), said cops. They said inside the vehicle, a burnt pressure cooker with batteries was found.
'Act of terror,' police confirmed
Earlier on Sunday, DGP Sood confirmed on Twitter the blast was "an act of terror with [an] intention to cause serious damage." The Karnataka Police is investigating the incident along with central agencies. Meanwhile, the police said Shareeq is undergoing treatment and not well enough to provide a statement. The auto driver, who was also injured in the explosion, is in the hospital, too.
Accused was using a fake ID
The police 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 vehicle 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.
Central agencies joining the probe, says Karnataka home minister
"It is suspected that this may be a terror-related incident," said Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. "Along with the state police, central investigation teams will also join hands," he added.
Suspicious items were found in the autorickshaw
A high-level probe has been ordered after suspicious material was allegedly found in the autorickshaw. The police said that they discovered suspicious explosive material inside an exploded pressure cooker that the passenger was carrying. The police also said that batteries and wires were found inside the cooker. Meanwhile, the country's premier investigation agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), has also reportedly joined the probe.