This story is part of
An ‘act of terror’ and a wild goose chase in Mangaluru
SHOW MORE 28 STORIES

Mohammed Shariq — From pro-terror graffiti writer to blast suspect

He first came on the radar of the State police when he was arrested for pro-terror graffiti in Mangaluru in November 2020. 

November 20, 2022 09:20 pm | Updated 11:39 pm IST - Bengaluru/Mangaluru/Shivamogga

Mohammed Shariq, 24, the alleged bomber who was in the auto rickshaw in Mangaluru on November 19, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement

Mohammed Shariq, 24, the alleged bomber who was in the auto rickshaw in Mangaluru on November 19, 2022. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Mangaluru blast accused Mohammed Shariq, 24, hailing from Tirthahalli in Shivamogga district, looking after a readymade garments shop of his father, first came on the radar of the State police when he was arrested for pro-terror graffiti in Mangaluru city in November 2020. 

The two graffiti read: “Do not force us to invite Lashkar-e-Taiba and Taliban to deal with Sanghis and Manuvadis. #Lashkar Zindabad” and “Gustakh E Rasool Ki Ek Hi Saza Sar Tan Se Jude”. He was arrested along with his engineering graduate associate Maaz Muneer Ahmed and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and was later released on bail. The case is still pending.

By the time, the agencies came across his activities again in August-September 2022, it was revealed he was an associate of a key member of an Islamic State offshoot Al Hind module and was the kingpin of a module he had put together in Shivamogga. But he had by then disappeared and turned out to be a challenge to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Karnataka police, before he turned up in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru with an IED. In the interim, he was in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and most recently in Mysuru, it has now come out. 

Mohammed Shariq left for Mangaluru to work after his schooling. After his mother passed away at a young age, his father remarried. He was recently looking after his father’s cloth shop in Tirthahalli till August, after which his family has also reportedly lost contact with him. His father passed away recently. 

Probing a stabbing incident in Shivamogga around Independence Day over putting up a photo of V.D. Savarkar, the Shivamogga Rural police had busted an alleged terror module with alleged links to Islamic State. The police had arrested Maaz Muneer Ahmed, 22, and Syed Yasin, 21, and recovered explosive materials from the duo.

Investigations had uncovered that they were radicalised by Mohammed Shariq and they had learnt making bombs through PDF files, videos and several materials sent to them by Shariq. The duo had prepared an IED and tested it successfully on the banks of Tungabhadra, the police had alleged. Incidentally, Maaz Muneer Ahmed was a co-accused in the graffiti case with Shariq in 2020. 

Mohammed Shariq is said to be associated with Matheen Ahmed Taha, also hailing from Shivamogga and a member of Al Hind module, active in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Bengaluru-based Al Hind module was allegedly put together by Mehboob Pasha, a resident of Gurappanapalya, Bengaluru, and Khaja Moideen, a resident of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. The module was busted by the NIA in 2020 and multiple charge-sheets filed, alleging the group wanted to establish an IS province inside the jungles of South India.  However, Matheen Ahmed Taha, a prominent member of this group, is still at large and Mohammed Shariq is suspected to be his associate. 

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.