NIA to take over probe into Mangaluru blast case as links go beyond State

Published - November 21, 2022 08:52 pm IST - Bengaluru

A special team of sleuths from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have already joined the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast probe and the case will soon be formally handed over to the central agency, sources in the Karnataka police said. 

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) Alok Kumar said the probe had extended beyond the State and they were in touch with the central agencies, even as Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said central security agencies had already joined the probe. 

Multiple cases

The NIA is currently probing multiple cases suspected to be linked to the prime accused in the case. The NIA recently took over the probe into a case registered by the Shivamogga Rural police in September, 2022, in which Mohammed Shariq, the prime suspect in the Mangaluru blast case, is a prime suspect.

The Karnataka police and the NIA had been hunting for him since September. Probing a stabbing incident over a V.D. Savarkar photo, the Shivamogga police had busted a local terror module and arrested Maaz Muneer Ahmed, 22, and Syed Yasin, 21.

They were allegedly influenced by the Islamic State, were members of an IS Telegram group, and had tested an improvised explosive device with Shariq on the banks of the Tungabhadra. Shariq, allegedly the key man in the module, had been on the run. 

Shariq has been linked to one of India’s most wanted terror accused on the run, Abdul Matheen Taha, who was also influenced by the Islamic State. The NIA has put him in the most wanted list and also announced a reward of ₹3 lakh for providing information leading to his arrest in 2020. 

Coimbatore blast link?

Since, Shariq procured a SIM card in Coimbatore, which saw Jameesha Mubin killed in a similar car blast on October 23, agencies are keen to probe Shariq’s links with the Coimbatore blast too, if any.

“The NIA is anyway probing the Coimbatore blast. The Al-Hind ISIS Bengaluru terror module, in which Shariq’s handler Abdul Matheen Taha is a prominent member, also has its base in Tamil Nadu. The module was founded by Mehboob Pasha, a resident of Gurappana Palya, Bengaluru, and Khaja Moideen, a resident of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, busted by the NIA in 2020,” a senior police official said.

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