Bengaluru cafe blast: West Bengal police fact-check BJP IT cell chief on “safe haven for terrorists” claim

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya commented even as NIA expressed gratitude to West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala police.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 12, 2024 | 3:14 PMUpdatedApr 12, 2024 | 3:38 PM

Bengaluru cafe blast accused

The West Bengal Police on Friday, 12 April, issued a clarification on the arrest of the two prime accused in the Bengaluru cafe blast case and said they were nabbed following a joint operation.

The clarification came following the accusation of BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya that the state was a “safe haven for terrorists”.

“Contrary to the claims made by @amitmalviya, the fact is that, two suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case have been arrested from Purba Medinipur in a JOINT operation by the West Bengal Police and the Central Intelligence Agencies,” said the West Bengal Police in a post on X.

“The proactive role of WBP in the matter has been officially acknowledged by the Central Agencies. West Bengal has NEVER been a safe haven for terrorists and the state police will continue to remain ever-vigilant in keeping its people safe from nefarious activities,” they added.

The NIA had apprehended the two accused in the Rameshwaram blast case — Adbul Matheen Taha and Mussavir Hussain Shazeb — near Kolkata during the wee hours of Friday.

Following the arrest the NIA expressed gratitude to the state police of four states.

“This pursuit, successfully accomplished by NIA was ably supported by energetic co-ordinated action and co-operation between NIA, Central Intelligence agencies and State Police agencies of West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala police,” it said in a release.

Also Read: NIA arrests two main accused in Rameshwaram cafe blast from West Bengal

‘Safe haven for terrorists’

Following the arrest of the two accused, Malviya claimed on X that West Bengal had become a safe haven for terrorists under the governance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“NIA detains two chief suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast, bomber Mussavir Hussain Shazib and accomplice Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, from Kolkata. Both likely belong to ISIS cell in Shivamogga, Karnataka. West Bengal, unfortunately, under Mamata Banerjee, has become a safe haven for terrorists,” Malviya wrote on X.

Subsequently, when the West Bengal Police issued the clarification, he accused Banerjee of being incompetent to defend her poor track record on law and order.

“Who is the Chief Minister and Home Minister of West Bengal? Has Mamata Banerjee resigned or too incompetent to defend her poor track record on law and order? Every time she has no answers, which is often, she hides behind
@WBPolice” he wrote on X.

Earlier, BJP leader and Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje had alleged that people from Tamil Nadu were behind the blast.

Following the remarks, the Tamil Nadu ruling DMK filed a complaint with the Election Commission and the Union minister apologised and retracted her statement.

“At Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, people shouted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and no case was registered for about a week. Then, people come from Tamil Nadu. They get trained there and place bombs here. They planted bomb in the cafe. After that, another person comes from Kerala and hurls acid at three of our women students,” Karandlaje had said on 19 March.

Also Read: UPI transaction led NIA to question BJP Yuva Morcha general secretary

The blast at the cafe

At least 10 people were injured in the blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in Brookfield in East Bengaluru on 1 March.

The explosion was carried out through an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Soon after the blast, the Karnataka Police registered a case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA) and Explosives Substances Act.

The NIA is a specialised probe agency to investigate terror-related cases. The agency was created in 2008 following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

On 27 March, the NIA made its first arrest — Muzammil Shareef, who was picked up and placed in custody as a co-conspirator after its teams raided 18 locations, including 12 in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and one in Uttar Pradesh.

The NIA had also summoned Thirthahalli BJYM general secretary Saivara Prasad, in the early hours of 5 April, after they found a digital payment transaction between him and the accused, claimed sources.

According to a press release by the NIA, Mussavir Hussain Shazib was the one who placed the IED at the café and Abdul Matheen Taha is the mastermind behind the blast and subsequent evasion from the clutches of law.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)