Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast: NIA arrests 5th accused, an ’ex-convict in LeT terror conspiracy case’

Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast: The fifth accused was identified as 35-year-old Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chhotu. He is an ex-convict in a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror conspiracy case.

Livemint
Updated24 May 2024
Police personnel at the Rameshwaram Cafe after a blast, in Bengaluru, on March 1.
Police personnel at the Rameshwaram Cafe after a blast, in Bengaluru, on March 1.(HT_PRINT)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday arrested one more accused in connection with Bengaluru's Rameshwaram Cafe blast case. This is the fifth person to be held in the matter.

The accused was identified as 35-year-old Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chhotu. He is an ex-convict in a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror conspiracy case.

"Thirty-five-year-old Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chhotu, a resident of Hubbali city in Karnataka, was previously convicted in a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror conspiracy case," the agency said in a statement as per news agency PTI.

NIA investigations revealed that Mirza was allegedly involved in this fresh conspiracy after being released from jail. In 2018, he had reportedly befriended and introduced accused Abdul Matheen Taahaa to an online handler suspected to be abroad, the probe agency said.

“Mirza further provided an e-mail ID for encrypted communication between the handler and Abdul Matheen Taahaa, who was arrested on April 12 from his hideout in Kolkata (West Bengal) along with co-accused Mussavir Hussain Shazib,” the NIA was quoted by PTI as saying.

A low-intensity blast had rocked the famous Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru on March 1, injuring at least 10 people. The latesr arrest came three days after a massive crackdown across four states in the Rameshwaram Café Blast Case.

“In a coordinated action, NIA teams searched 11 locations in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, andAndhra Pradesh. Extensive searches were conducted at the premises linked with 11 suspects in the case, in which an IED explosion at the café on ITPL Road, Brookefield in Bengaluru, Karnataka had left several customers and staff members injured,” the NIA said in a statement.

The agency added that the 11 suspects whose premises were searched include individuals convicted in the 2012 LeT conspiracy case of Bengaluru and Hubli Districts. The targeted searches led to the seizure of various digital devices and documents, which the NIA is examining exhaustively.

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