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Auto rickshaw blast in Mangaluru an act of terror, says Karnataka police chief

Director General of Police Praveen Sood said the police are investigating into it with Central agencies

November 20, 2022 10:24 am | Updated 03:27 pm IST - MANGALURU

Autorickshaw kept beside Padil-Pumpwell Main Road in Mangaluru on Sunday.  A moving autorickshaw caught fire, after a minor blast reportedly occurred from a bag being carried by the passenger in the city on November 19, 2022.

Autorickshaw kept beside Padil-Pumpwell Main Road in Mangaluru on Sunday. A moving autorickshaw caught fire, after a minor blast reportedly occurred from a bag being carried by the passenger in the city on November 19, 2022. | Photo Credit: Manjunath H S

A CCTV camera footage from a nearby commercial building showed the moving vehicle suddenly engulfed in smoke and coming to a halt. The vehicle however appeared not to have received much damage. | Video Credit: Special Arrangement

Karnataka police chief Praveen Sood said on November 20 the low-intensity blast in an autorickshaw that injured two people in Mangaluru on Saturday, November 19, is “not accidental but an act of terror intended to cause serious damage”.

In a tweet, the Director General of Police Mr. Sood said the police are investigating into it with Central agencies.

“It is confirmed now. The blast is not accidental but an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage. Karnataka State police is probing deep into it along with Central agencies,” he tweeted.

After the incident on November 19 under Kankanady police station limits, Mangaluru Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar said, “At around 5.15 p.m. or so fire has caught in an auto rickshaw from the bag of a passenger who is injured and the auto rickshaw driver has also suffered some burn injuries. Shifted to hospital.”

Explosive materials found in passenger’s bag

A cooker fitted with detonator, wires and batteries found during the investigation after an explosion in an auto-rickshaw in Mangaluru, on November 20, 2022.

A cooker fitted with detonator, wires and batteries found during the investigation after an explosion in an auto-rickshaw in Mangaluru, on November 20, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Police sources have identified the passenger travelling in the auto rickshaw as Premraj who, according to them, has suffered 40% burn injuries.

Records with him showed that he hailed from Mysuru. However, when verified, it was found that he actually belongs to Hubballi, the police said, adding that explosive materials were found in the bag he was carrying. The bag also had some wires (circuits) and a pressure cooker.

The auto rickshaw driver has been identified as Purushottam, who is safe, police said adding that he was driving from Mangaluru Junction Railway Station towards Pumpwell when the blast occured. Premraj boarded the auto rickshaw near Naguri and the blast occurred near Kankanady police station after some time of boarding.

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