Bengaluru cafe blast: NIA conducts multi-state raids; Bengaluru techie detained in Andhra Pradesh

The officials raided the house of a retired headmaster in Rayadurgam in Andhra Pradesh over his son's alleged involvement in the blast.

ByBhaskar Basava

Published May 21, 2024 | 1:10 PM Updated May 21, 2024 | 1:10 PM

The Rameshwaram Cafe at Kundalahalli

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday, 21 May, carried out multi-state raids in connection with its probe in Bengaluru’s Rameshwaram Cafe blast case, officials said.

“Multi-state raids were underway in different locations,” a senior NIA official said, without sharing further details.

The officials also raided the house of a retired headmaster, Abdul, in Rayadurgam town of the Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.

Abdul’s son Sohail — a techie in Bengaluru — was detained by the police and is currently being questioned by the NIA at Raydurga Police Station.

An official confirmed to South First that Sohail had been under the radar of the NIA and intelligence agencies for a while due to his suspected links with Abdul Matheen, the alleged mastermind of the blast.

A low-intensity blast using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at a Rameshwaram Cafe outlet in Bengaluru on 1 March injured at least 10 people.

The probe agency, which took over the case on 3 March, had on 12 April arrested two key accused, including the mastermind Adbul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, in the matter.

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Arrested from Kolkata

The NIA had arrested Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Adbul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa from Kolkata for their alleged role in the 1 March blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru, which left 10 people injured.

An IED explosion rocked the cafe located on ITPL Road, Brookefield, Bengaluru, on 1 March. The NIA had revealed that the two accused were hiding near Kolkata under their false identities.

Abdul Matheen Taha has been using a Hindu identity and forged an Adhaar card under the name of Vignesh. Mussavir Hussain Shazib has been using a driving licence named Mohammed Juned Sayed.

The NIA further acknowledged the support from central investigation agencies, and the state police of West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala.

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.

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

The blast

NIA, which took over the case on 3 March said it identified these two accused, along with Maaz Muneer Ahmed and Muzzamil Sherif, as the terrorists who had played a pivotal role in the explosion.

“Muzzamil Sherif was involved in providing logistical support to the other accused in carrying out the IED explosion,” the NIA said.

“It was Abdul Matheen who also worked on the escape plans and managed to evade arrest all these weeks for himself and his co-accused. The duo, along with their co-accused Maaz Muneer Ahmed, were also involved in terror cases earlier,” it added.

The NIA had also announced a reward of ₹10 lakh each for those providing information leading to the arrest of the accused.

Soon after the blast on 1 March, the Karnataka Police registered a case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosives Substances Act.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil with PTI inputs)