The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case: NIA announces ₹10 lakh reward on each of the two absconding prime accused

NIA gets 7-day custody of Muzammil Shareef, arrested in the case

Updated - March 30, 2024 06:59 am IST

Published - March 29, 2024 09:38 pm IST - Bengaluru

NIA released the photographs and details of the two absconding prime accused in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case — Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, 30, and Mussavir Hussain Shazib, 30 — and announced a reward of ₹10 lakh on each of them. 

NIA released the photographs and details of the two absconding prime accused in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case — Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, 30, and Mussavir Hussain Shazib, 30 — and announced a reward of ₹10 lakh on each of them.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released the photographs and details of the two absconding prime accused in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case — Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, 30, and Mussavir Hussain Shazib, 30 — and announced a reward of ₹10 lakh on each of them.

The NIA had on Thursday identified Mussavir Hussain as the alleged bomber at the restaurant and Abdul Matheen Taaha as the key conspirator behind the attack. NIA has said the informant’s identities will be kept confidential. 

Fake identity

NIA has said Abdul Matheen Taahaa is known to have assumed names Vignesh D. and Sumit, and Mussavir Hussain was using a forged driving licence in the name of Mohammed Juned Sayed. NIA said the duo preferred to stay in men’s/boys hostels, paying guest accommodations, sharing accommodations or low budget hotels and lodges. 

According to the police, the duo have been on the run from 2020, when they were listed as accused in the Al Hind Module case - an Islamic State (IS)-inspired module that, it is said, sought to establish an IS province through an insurgency in South India’s forests - but managed to give a slip to the agencies.

NIA had earlier announced a reward of ₹3 Lakh for any information leading to the arrest of Abdul Matheen Taaha. After the Al Hind module was busted the duo, on the run, put together the Thirthahalli module involved in four cases now - pro-terror graffiti in Mangaluru in 2020, trial blast and terror conspiracy case in Shivamogga in September 2022, cooker blast in Mangaluru in November, 2022, and The Rameshwaram Cafe blast earlier this month. 

NIA gets 7-day custody

Meanwhile, NIA has secured seven-day custody of Muzammil Shareef, the sole person arrested in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case. NIA said he “extended logistic support to the other two identified accused in the case.”

Muzammil Shareef hails from Kalasa, Chikkamagaluru district, and his family resides at Dubai Nagar in Chikkamagaluru town, sources said. Shareef has been working in Bengaluru for the past 16 years and till recently worked at a chicken shop in Basaveshwara Nagar. He is suspected to have given shelter to the alleged bomber Mussavir Hussain Shazib in Bengaluru, helped him flee the city and also suspected to have procured some raw materials for the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). 

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