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CrimeHow lie about Karnataka auto-rickshaw blast was exposed

How lie about Karnataka auto-rickshaw blast was exposed

Both Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood and Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar confirmed the suspect was Mohammed Shariq, 24, with several terrorist links

Flying on the face of commentators who were trying to mislead people with erroneous information about the auto-rickshaw explosion, calling it an accident, Karnataka Police has identified the bomber in Mangaluru as Mohammed Shariq, 24, hailing from Teerthahalli. He has been accused of association with terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (Isis), earlier. He was on the run since September 2022.

Yesterday, the autorickshaw caught fire in Mangaluru, injuring the driver and the passenger, police said. CCTV visuals from the location showed the autorickshaw catching fire after an explosion.

Police have verified the suspect’s photos in their records and his family has identified the injured person in the hospital as Mohammed Shariq, looking at his photos on a phone. The family is on its way to the hospital, a senior police official said.

State police chief Praveen Sood said today, “It’s confirmed now. The blast is not accidental but an act of terror with the intention to cause serious damage. Karnataka Police is probing deep into it along with central agencies.”

The director general of police (DGP) was backed by city Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar who said a bag carried by the passenger, caught fire on the way towards Pumpwell. The passenger had boarded at Nagori.

“The driver said that fire was spotted inside a bag carried by the passenger. The driver and the passenger suffered burn injuries. We have shifted them to a hospital,” the police commissioner said.

As the investigation progressed, the police recovered a mobile and an Aadhaar card from the site of the blast. According to officials, the suspect had procured a SIM card from Tamil Nadu using fake documents and was carrying a stolen Aadhaar card.

“The suspect has links to some terror activities in the past also and has alleged links with some terror outfits which are banned,” the DGP said. “He was misusing the Aadhaar card of one Premraj, a resident of Hubballi. Premraj works with the Indian Railways in Tumakuru. Premraj lost his Aadhaar card six months ago which was supposedly found by the suspect and has been misusing it. This is certainly a blast which is related to terror activity,” the officer said.

Reacting to the findings of the police, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “It appears to be an act of terror. The government will crack this case. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies have visited the incident spot and taken up the probe. As he (the suspect) had visited several places including Coimbatore, he might have links with a terrorist group.”

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said today that various reports suggested terror organisations’ links with the blast. A probe is on to get all the details, he said. “The police is probing the motive behind the incident. According to various reports, terror organisations seem to have links with this blast,” the minister said.

“We discussed this with the central security forces as well. The investigation is currently underway, and we might get all the details in the next 2-3 days,” the Karnataka home minister said.

Meanwhile, Siddaramaiah, the former Karnataka chief minister and current leader of the opposition (LoP), condemned the bombing today and urged Kartanaka Police to immediately arrest all those responsible. “DGP has confirmed that the blast in Mangaluru is an act of terror. I strongly condemn this act of violence & strongly urge the police to immediately arrest those responsible for the act,” Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.

“The blast has exposed the failure of the intelligence department, & home minister should accept the responsibility. I urge the people not to panic and give leads to the police about all the suspected persons,” the LoP said.

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