The city police are investigating as to whether Aditya Rao, who is suspected to have placed an explosive at the Mangaluru International Airport on January 20, had done so as an “act of vengeance” or if there were others who might have set him up for the task. How a habitual hoax caller progressed to making an explosive has to be studied, said the police.
Also read: Aditya Rao’s family had kept him at a distance for two years
A senior police official overseeing the investigation of the case said the person who made the hoax call (suspected to be Aditya) to the airport terminal manager on Monday had said that the “police will repent” for putting him behind bars for eight months.
This made the Mangaluru police to suspect the role of Aditya who had been jailed in the open-air prison at Devanahalli, Bengaluru, following his arrest by the International Airport police in 2018. He had been arrested for three hoax calls he made to Kempegowda International Airport in 2018.
In addition, the official said that the voice of the caller who said that the Mangaluru–Bengaluru Indigo flight had an explosive matched with that of Aditya’s.
“We cannot rule out the chance of him acting under the influence of others. We need to closely investigate his contacts, including those he could have come in touch with during his stay in the prison at Devanahalli,” the official said. The progression from the person known for making hoax calls to the one who actually placed an explosive had to be studied closely, the official said.
Apart from recording eyewitness accounts about Aditya’s movement on January 20, the police will collect evidence about the place where he prepared the explosive and how he procured the material. The police are looking at how he acquired the knowledge and if anyone was associated with him in this task.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (North) K. Belliyappa, who is the investigation officer in the case, proceeded to Bengaluru along with Assistant Commissioner of Police Vinay Gaonker and a few other city police personnel and took custody of Aditya. He was brought by a flight to Mangaluru on Wednesday night.
Restaurant management alerts police
The management of the bar and restaurant at Balmatta in Mangaluru where Aditya worked for a few days said on Wednesday that they alerted the police about him after television channels showed the video grab of the suspect.
A management representative told reporters here that they called the police as the person in the video grab resembled Aditya.
Colleagues of Aditya at the bar and restaurant said he worked in the billing section on a temporary basis between December 16 and January 12. “He was offered the job on compassionate grounds after he mentioned that his father was not keeping well and his mother had passed away,” said a management representative.
The representative, who did not want to be named, said Aditya lived in a room at Valencia here. He was an introvert and never spoke much with his colleagues. He would report to duty at 10 a.m. and leave for his room at 11 p.m. every day. During the afternoon break, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., he worked out at a gymnasium nearby. Aditya left the job on January 12 saying he had got a job as a security in charge in an educational institution.