Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast case: NIA searches houses of two doctors in Coimbatore

Sources said the doctors had been undergoing training in Coimbatore for about two years

Updated - May 22, 2024 01:46 pm IST

Published - May 21, 2024 11:45 am IST - COIMBATORE

A police official stands guard at the Rameshwaram cafe blast site, in Bengaluru. Representative image. File

A police official stands guard at the Rameshwaram cafe blast site, in Bengaluru. Representative image. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday searched the residences of two doctors in Coimbatore as part of their ongoing investigation into the blast at The Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru on March 1.

Sources privy to the development said that the two doctors were among the 13 persons who were convicted by a special NIA court in 2016 for plotting to kill politicians, police officers and journalists in 2012.

NIA sleuths seized mobile phones and SIM cards from the duo, residing at Saibaba Colony in Coimbatore. They had enrolled in a two-year post doctoral fellowship programme at a private hospital in the city. While one of them had completed the course, the other was yet to do so, a source in the hospital said.

NIA officials from Bengaluru carried out the searches at the residence of the two doctors at Periya Subbanna Gounder Street and Narayana Guru Road at Saibaba Colony. The searches began early in the morning and ended by 8 a.m.

According to the NIA’s records, Basaweshwara Nagar police in Bengaluru registered a case related to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) conspiracy in August 2012, based on credible information that members of the LeT and Harkat-ul-Jihad-E-Islami (HuJI) had hatched a conspiracy to indulge in subversive activities, including targeted killings of important personalities of the Hindu community, in Bengaluru and Hubballi, and thereby disturb communal harmony.

The NIA’s Hyderabad branch took over the investigation in November in the same year. The agency chargesheeted 14 persons in the case in 2013 and 2014. Out of the chargesheeted accused, 13 were convicted and awarded five years’ imprisonment. The NIA special court had allowed the accused, then aged between 22 and 35 years, to pursue higher studies.

The management of the private hospital where the duo underwent training, said that their background was not known to the institution, and they secured the two-year fellowship via a national entrance examination. “They are extremely good medical professionals and have been nice to all,” a hospital authority said.

The raids in Coimbatore were among the 11 locations in four States where the agency carried out searches in connection with The Rameshwaram Cafe blast. The searches were carried out in the wake of the arrests of Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Abdul Matheen Taha of Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district, identified as the perpetrators and masterminds of the blast, from their hideout in Kolkata on April 12.

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