Close to identifying Bengaluru blast main accused: Police; four detained | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times

Close to identifying Bengaluru blast main accused: Police; four detained

By, Bengaluru
Mar 03, 2024 06:27 AM IST

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah also announced that the government will cover the medical expenses of the people injured in the blast

The Bengaluru central crime branch on Saturday detained four people in connection with the blast at Rameshwaram Café even as the police said that the they are close to identifying the prime accused.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah visits the Rameshwaram Cafe blast site, in Bengaluru (PTI)
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah visits the Rameshwaram Cafe blast site, in Bengaluru (PTI)

To be sure, the detainees, according to the police, have not been accused of carrying out the blast but may have “helped an unidentified person to leave the bag with a bomb” in the restaurant.Nine people were injured after a low-intensity bomb exploded at the busy restaurant in Bengaluru on Friday afternoon, prompting a multi-agency probe.

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Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah who visited the blast site on Saturday and also held meeting with senior police officials, issued directives to enhance security across Bengaluru. The chief minister also announced that the government will cover the medical expenses of the people injured in the blast.

Bengaluru police commissioner B Dayanand said: “Some people have been detained, however, no arrests have been made so far. Multiple police teams are examining various angles based on the clues gathered at the scene.”

Also Read | Rameshwaram bomb blast victim recounts horror: ‘Heard sound and lost consciousness’

A police officer aware of the development said that none of the four people detained “are suspects in the case” and they are being “questioned about the suspects.” “We have got some clues and the investigation is being conducted,” the officer said, requesting anonymity.

Police said that the CCTV footage accessed from the area showed the suspect entering cafe. “The suspect was carrying a bag and proceeded to consume idli... The suspect was talking to someone on his mobile phone while eating,” the officer quoted above said.

Also Read | ‘Suspect was wearing cap, mask to hide identity’: Police in Bengaluru blast case

A second police officer familiar with the investigation said they are trying to narrow down the mobile phones used in the restaurant at the time of the blast and were trying “to find the phone number of the suspect”. “We are trying to find if there is a connection between the blast and the mobile phone that the suspect was using. We are also looking at over 500 active numbers that were in use in the area at that time,” the second officer said.

In a related development, the police also visited Parappana Agrahara (or Central Prison Bengaluru) jail to verify the people who may have “visited some of the bomb accused suspects lodged in the jail in different cases”, said the officer. According to the police, the suspect’s visuals while boarding a bus

The police have also been able to track the accused’s movements to a Volvo bus, going from Banashankari to ITPL.

The officer quoted above said: “The Volvo bus number KA-57-F 186 which belongs to BMTC Depot-13 Kamakya and was going from Banashankari to ITPL. The individual boarded the bus near Kundahalli and alighted at the CMRIT College stop.The visuals have been caught in the CCTV camera placed in the bus. The footage from the bus is being reviewed. The driver and the conductor also confirmed the presence of the suspect in the bus.”

Even though the suspect’s movements have been captured on multiple CCTV cameras, the police are yet to figure out his identity as he was wearing a mask, said the officer. Police commissioner Dayanand said that the central crime branch has been assigned the task of investigating the case.

On Saturday, chief minister Siddaramaiah held a meeting with state home minister G Parameshwara, DG and IGP Alok Mohan and police commissioner B Dayanand among other top police officials at his residence in Bengaluru.

During the meeting, Siddaramaiah directed the police “to enhance security measures across Bengaluru, including the densely populated areas”, said people familiar with the development. Earlier in the day, the CM had visited the Rameshwaram Café and Brookfield hospital to meet the injured. The CM said that the government will cover the medical expenses of the injured individuals.

Addressing concerns over the “impartiality” in investigations, the CM said: “It is important to conduct inquiries without succumbing to external pressures, including those from social media platforms.” He urged authorities to take decisive action against “individuals found spreading false or misleading information.”

The CM said: “The investigations are ongoing to ascertain the identity and motives of the perpetrator(s).” He assured the public that the authorities are diligently working to bring those responsible to justice.

Meanwhile deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar said that the police are looking “at the connection between the Bengaluru blast and Mangaluru cooker blast” in 2023. “There appears to be some common link,” he said, after visiting the explosion site.

One of the injured Deepanshu, who goes by one name, and had sustained ear injuries during the blast was discharged from the hospital on Saturday. Recounting his experience, he said: “I had gone (to the cafe) for lunch on Friday afternoon and forgot my laptop bag after eating. When I returned to retrieve it, there was an explosion. I heard a loud noise, and immediately lost consciousness. I don’t know what happened after that.”

Police said that two other injured, who are currently undergoing treatment at Vydehi hospital, were also discharged. The other six are undergoing treatment at the hospital and will be discharged soon, said the officials

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