Investigation to prove if Bengaluru cafe blast is an act of terror: CM Siddaramaiah

According to official sources, images of the suspect's movement have been captured by the CCTV cameras at Rameshwaram cafe and those nearby.

Mysuru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah while addressing media persons on Saturday, March 2, said that investigation into the case of Bengaluru cafe blast incident will prove whether it is an act of terror.

He made the statement while answering a question on whether the incident was an act of terror. Siddaramaiah further replied that the action will be taken after seeing what will come up in the investigation of the case.

“One person wearing 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.

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“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.

When asked on BJP’s charge that his appeasement policy has resulted in such a situation, CM Siddaramaiah explained that he will condemn the blast incident and he won’t carry out politics out of it.

“During their tenure, incidents of bomb blasts were reported. Which policy led to those incidents? There was a Mangaluru cooker blast incident, what happened then?” Siddaramaiah questioned.

“The suspected bomber, wearing a mask and cap, came in the bus, ate rava idli while sitting at the cafe. Later, he fixed the timer to an explosive, left the bag and left. Nabbing him is going to be an easy task as his photos are caught on the CCTV,” he stated.

When asked whether there is any similarity with the Mangaluru cooker blast case, Siddaramaiah stated that both are different incidents. The bomb was planted in a cooker in that incident.

“Dy CM and the Home Minister had visited the spot and I will also visit the site. The injured are being hospitalised and no one is serious,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the police after obtaining the CCTV footage of the suspected bomber — with backpack allegedly carrying a bomb — have launched a manhunt for the accused in Mangaluru city, neighbouring Kerala and in Tamil Nadu.

The incident took place at the Rameshwaram Cafe on the Information Technology Park Limited (ITPL) Road in the Whitefield area in Bengaluru between 12.50 p.m. and 1 p.m.

Confident of nabbing culprit, says CM

Meanwhile, police intensified its probe into the March 1 bomb blast at a city eatery that left 10 injured, the Karnataka government 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.

One person was reportedly detained for questioning late on Friday night over the low-intensity blast, but there was no official confirmation.

The government hinted at the possibility of someone’s ‘heartburn’ as being a reason for the blast. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has convened a meeting of the home department to take stock of the situation.

It was still not known whether any organisation was involved in the incident at the quick-service eatery in Brookfield area in the information technology corridor in east Bengaluru.

Buses are being verified: State home minister

In Bengaluru, state home minister G Parameshwara said investigators have gathered certain information from CCTV footage. “Several teams have been formed to investigate. In-depth investigation is going on with seriousness, and some traces have been found. Some information has been gathered from CCTV footage…there is information that he (the suspect) had come by bus. So, (route number) 26 buses have been verified at Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC),” Parameshwara said.

Based on the “theory of elimination”, more buses are being verified for footage, as BMTC buses have cameras. “We expect information from it. Gathering all this information, we will nab the culprit. At no cost will we let it go. No matter how much they try to escape, we will not leave them,” he added.

Asked whether the probe will be handed over to central agencies, Parameshwara said, “we have efficient officers, we have efficient FSLs (Forensic Science Laboratory). We are advanced. FSL team has collected samples, they have gathered information on timer fixed, the capacity of the explosive. It will help the investigation.”

Karnataka police intensifies probe

According to official sources, images of the suspect’s movement have been captured by the CCTV cameras at Rameshwaram cafe and those nearby. “We are positive about the leads we are getting in nabbing the culprit,” an official said.

The investigating teams are also looking at similarities between Friday’s explosion and the November 2022 Mangaluru cooker blast, sources said.

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

(with inputs from agencies)

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