Bengaluru blast: Can’t say if any outfit involved yet; probing all angles, says Home Minister

Asked whether the probe will be handed over to central agencies, Parameshwara said, "We have efficient officers, we have efficient FSLs."

ByPTI

Published Mar 02, 2024 | 1:37 PMUpdatedMar 02, 2024 | 2:01 PM

Bengaluru blast in Rameshwaram cafe

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara on Saturday, 2 March, said the police are conducting an in-depth investigation into the bomb blast at the Rameshwaram Cafe and are looking into all angles.

He said investigators have gathered certain information from CCTV footage, adding that the footage from the city’s public transport buses is also being analysed as part of the probe to nab the culprit.

A meeting of senior Home Department officials with the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been convened this afternoon.

A detailed discussion will be held at the meeting following Friday’s incident at the quick-service eatery in the Brookefield area in the information technology corridor in east Bengaluru, which left ten people injured, and the government will give certain instructions to the officials.

Bengaluru blast: CCTV footages help police trace suspect’s steps

Route no 26 buses under surveillence

“Several teams have been formed to investigate. An in-depth investigation is going on with seriousness, some traces have been found. Some information has been gathered from CCTV footage. At that time on that route number 26 buses had gone. There is information that he (the suspect) has come by bus. So, (route number) 26 buses have been verified at Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC),” Parameshwara said.

Addressing reporters in Bengaluru, he said, “On the basis of the theory of elimination”, more buses are being verified for footage, as BMTC buses have cameras.

“We expect information from it. Gathering all this information we will nab the culprit. At no cost, we will let go. No matter how much they try to escape, we will not leave them,” he added.

At this moment it is not possible to say whether any organisation or an individual was involved, the Home Minister said. There were certain theories during his visit to the cafe last night, expressing suspicion that someone might have done it out of “heartburn”, unable to digest the cafe’s success and expansion.

“We will look into all angles. Whichever angle it might be, we will verify them and catch the culprits behind the blast,” he said.

Related: Eyewitnesses recall deafening sound, choking smoke, panicked people

Four people detained

Four people have been detained for questioning in connection with the bomb blast, police sources said on Saturday.

Sleuths of the Central Crime Branch probing the case are interrogating the four, picked up from Dharwad, Hubballi and Bengaluru “at length”, the sources said.

Bengaluru City Commissioner B Dayananda said the investigation into The Rameshwaram Cafe incident, caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Friday afternoon in which ten people were injured, is in full swing.

“Several teams are working on different leads obtained so far,” he said.

“Keeping in mind the sensitivity of the case and the security concerns, media is appealed not to indulge in speculation and co-operate,” Dayananda said.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened across the state, especially at Kempegowda International Airport, following the incident in Brookefield area in the Information Technology corridor in east Bengaluru.

The Bengaluru Police has registered a case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosives Substances Act in connection with the explosion at the popular quick-service eatery.

‘Matter of Bengaluru’s pride’

Asked whether the probe will be handed over to central agencies, Parameshwara said, “We have efficient officers, we have efficient FSLs (Forensic Science Laboratory). We are advanced. The FSL team has collected samples, and they have gathered information on the timer fixed, and the capacity of the explosive. It will help the investigation.”

Responding to the opposition BJP’s demand that he quit by accusing him of failing in the maintenance of law and order, the Home Minister said, that seeking resignation has become a practice for them, they seek the resignation of Chief Minister and Home Minister for “everything”.

“They keep seeking resignation. When the cooker blast occurred in 2022 (Mangaluru) did they resign then? We have a responsibility to run the administration, we will not let anyone escape,” he said, noting that he had appealed to the opposition not to do politics on the issue and to cooperate, as it is the matter of Bengaluru and state’s pride and security of the people.

Listing out various measures taken by his department for “safe” Bengaluru recently, Parameshwara said patrolling has been increased, artificial intelligence is being used, and about 7,500 cameras have been installed at various places.

“In this incident, too footage from CCTV cameras installed have been gathered, all those things are being verified. It will help,” he said.

On whether there was any link to the incident with the BJP’s claim that the “Pakistan zindabad ‘ slogan were raised in the corridors of ‘Vidhana Soudha’ recently after Rajya Sabha polls results were declared, the Minister said, “We can’t say like that. I don’t know. I cannot speculate.”

Related: BJP leaders connect Bengaluru blast with sloganeering in Vidhan Soudha

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