Bengaluru: The Karnataka Police is probing the blast in a cooker kept in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru, which has found several similarities with the Coimbatore cylinder blast on 23 October. The driver and the helper were injured in the explosion in a moving vehicle near Nagauri under Kankanadi Town police station area. Karnataka’s investigative agencies found a burnt pressure cooker filled with explosive material along with parts of a gas burner in the autorickshaw. The cooker also contained a set of burnt batteries, which investigators suspect could be a timer or ignition device. Police are now convinced that the low-intensity blast was intended to create panic in the coastal town and the passenger is the prime suspect.
Police sources told News18 that they have uncovered significant evidence at the site that points to the possibility of involvement of the same or similar terrorist group in both the Coimbatore and Mangaluru blasts. A senior cop told News18 on the condition of anonymity that the explosive material and pellets found at the site were used in a moving vehicle to spread over a large area and cause more damage. There are many similarities between the recent Coimbatore blast and this incident. Our detailed investigation will reveal more. Karnataka Director General of Police Praveen Sood confirmed that the Mangaluru blast was ‘an act of terror’.
Police suspect that the autorickshaw passenger was directly involved in the blast as he was traveling with a false Aadhaar card and was carrying explosive material. The Aadhaar card recovered from the suspect had ‘Premraj Hatagi’ written on it. Hatagi, a railway employee, lost his Aadhaar card sometime back. He has applied for a new one. He said, I did not know that my lost Aadhaar card could be misused like this.
Praveen Sood told News18, ‘The suspect had faked his identity, and explosives were going in the cooker. His intentions were clearly not good and we have no doubt that this was not an accidental outburst. That’s why we termed it as a terrorist incident. The suspected passenger has suffered 40% burns and is undergoing treatment. The Aadhaar card he had was fake. Suspect possibly intended to detonate somewhere else. At present he is unable to speak due to injury. We are treating him and we will know more when he is in a position to answer our questions.
What happened in Coimbatore?
On October 23, a day before Diwali, a Maruti 800 car carrying LPG cylinders exploded in front of the Sangameshwara Temple in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Investigation revealed that the blast was a terror plot being executed by the prime accused, James Mubeen, who died in the blast. Later, several low-intensity explosives used in making country-made bombs were recovered from Mubeen’s house. When asked about a possible link to the Coimbatore blast, Karnataka Director General of Police Praveen Sood said that his team has extracted extensive data on the Coimbatore movement of the Mangaluru blast suspect over the past few months.
Tags: Blast, bomb blast, Mangalore
FIRST PUBLISHED : November 20, 2022, 14:43 IST