Home / News / Mangaluru autorickshaw blast: Police exploring key suspect’s links in Tamil Nadu, Kerala

The investigation into the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast has expanded to Tamil Nadu and Kerala as the police are probing the key suspect’s local links into the two southern states. The key suspect, who was “global terrorist organisation-inspired’, had reportedly visited Tamil Nadu and Kerala, prompting police teams to look for possible local accomplices.

The Mangaluru blast happened on Saturday, 19 November, when the pressure cooker fitted with detonator, wires and batteries. It exploded, injuring the driver and the rider, Mohammed Shariq.

Karnataka police described it as an act of terror aimed at creating serious damage. Mohammed Shariq, the accused who was in the auto, had suffered burn injuries and is currently being treated in a city hospital and unable to speak.

"His handler was Abdul Mateen Taha from Suddaguntepalya (in Bengaluru) on whom the National Investigation Agency has announced a reward of five lakh," Karnataka ADGP (Law and Order) Alok Kumar said on Monday.

Mohammed Shariq was "influenced and inspired" by a (terrorist) organisation with global presence, the Karnataka ADGP added.

Alok Kumar said, "...Our priority is to see that he survives, we have to take him to a stage where we can question him." Referring to the rented accommodation of the accused, Karnataka ADGP said, “We found matchbox, sulphur, phosphorus, batteries, circuit and nut and bolts from the house."

Taha was the "main handler". He along with Khwaja and Mohammed Pasha from Tamil Nadu were booked under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act at Suddaguntepalya in Bengaluru in 2020.

The probe into the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast has expanded to Tamil Nadu to find if the accused had any accomplices in the neighbouring state, as Coimbatore had recently witnessed an explosion.

For a SIM card, Mohammed Shariq had used the Aadhaar card of one Surendran, a native of Ooty. Surendran is now being questioned by the police.

In Kerala, the Karnataka Police has reached Aluva to ascertain the key suspect’s local links in the state. Police sources said the intelligence wing of the state police is also probing the Aluva connection of the accused.

(With agency inputs)

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