Mangaluru autorickshaw blast | Shariq test fired explosives in Shivamogga, says NIA

The prime suspect in the case, with two others, had test fired a bomb in Shivamogga in September and allegedly burnt the national flag; remnants of the shattered bomb were found at blast site, the NIA has said

Updated - November 21, 2022 05:11 pm IST

Published - November 21, 2022 02:04 pm IST - CHENNAI

ADGP (Law & Order) Alok Kumar inspected the Mangaluru autorickshawa blast site (spot) at Padil-Pumpwell Main Road as part of an investigation process in Mangaluru on Sunday

ADGP (Law & Order) Alok Kumar inspected the Mangaluru autorickshawa blast site (spot) at Padil-Pumpwell Main Road as part of an investigation process in Mangaluru on Sunday | Photo Credit: MANJUNATH HS

Shariq, the prime suspect in Saturday’s autorickshaw blast in Mangaluru, and his associates had experimentally set off bombs made by them at a remote location in Shivamogga, Karnataka, in the third week of September, 2022, as a prelude to their conspiracy to further the terrorist activities of the Islamic State (IS).

Sources in the National Investigation Agency told The Hindu on Monday that Shariq and two others, Maaz and Yasin, had planned terror strikes to disturb the unity, security and sovereignty of the country.

They test-fired one of the bombs near Kemmangundi in Shivamogga and allegedly burnt the national flag of India.

Besides booking the suspects under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Karnataka police had invoked provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honours Act, 1971

Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs handed over investigation in the Shivamogga case to the NIA considering the grave security ramifications and national/international linkages involved in the offence.

Searches conducted at different locations led to the seizure of remnants of shattered bomb at the scene of blast in Shivamogga and incriminating evidence, including digital storage devices, the sources said.

“Shariq was very much on the radar of the Karnataka police and the NIA for his anti-national activities. The Mangaluru blast occurred four days after the NIA took over investigation into the Shivamogga bomb blast case. His visits to Coimbatore, Madurai and Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu before coming to Mysore and then Mangaluru call for an in-depth investigation into the inter-State network,” a senior police officer said.

Special teams are interrogating suspects who provided accommodation or other logistics support to Shariq during his visit to Tamil Nadu. While Surendran of Udhagamandalam, whose Aadhaar credentials were used by Shariq to procure a SIM card claimed that he had no knowledge of the suspect’s sinister plans, police are tracking other persons on the basis of technical inputs, the sources said.

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