Police say SIM was stolen, but no theft complaint was filed

The SIM card used to trigger the blast in the city on April 17 this year belonged to an RSS leader from the Karnataka-Kerala border, said the police on Friday. .

While the SIM card, along with the mobile phone, was reportedly stolen a day before the blast, the owner did not file a complaint. The police refused to identify him.

Highly-placed police sources said the prime accused Kichan Buhari had in his possession 16 SIM cards, including the RSS leader’s. While some of the other stolen SIM cards were used by the suspects for communication purposes, the one used to trigger the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that left 17 injured, including eleven police personnel, belonged to the RSS leader.

The police, meanwhile, has exonerated the SIM-card owner and ruled out the involvement of a purported right-wing terror group which was investigated initially, following the blast.

Call details analysed

A senior police officer who is part of the investigation said the arrests of the nine accused in the case was based on scientific evidence. The call details of all the SIM cards were analysed.

Refusing to elaborate on the SIM card owned originally by the RSS leader, the police said the suspects may have used it to create an alibi and escape the police dragnet. The official said extensive and painstaking investigations led to the tracking of the suspects, who were present in and around the blast area.

The police refused to say whether the RSS leader had been questioned. The official added that the investigation was going in the right direction.

Well-planned operation, say police

Meanwhile, the suspects in police custody are being questioned to ascertain the roles of others. It was a well-planned operation and many more suspects are still at large, the police said.

The blast went off in Bangalore’s residential locality of Malleswaram near the Bharatiya Janata Party’s headquarters on April 17 ahead of the Legislative Assembly elections in Karnataka.