Outfit claims responsibility for M’luru blast; needs verification say police

Published on Nov 25, 2022 12:26 AM IST

A post by the IRC claiming the responsibility behind the improved explosive device (IED) blast has been doing rounds on the instant messaging app telegram , a police official privy to the matter said.

Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra visits the site where an explosion took place in an auto-rickshaw, in Mangaluru. (PTI)
Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra visits the site where an explosion took place in an auto-rickshaw, in Mangaluru. (PTI)
ByArun Dev I Edited by Shilpa Ambardar, Bengaluru

An outfit by the name Islamic Resistance Council (IRC) claimed responsibility for the on November 19 blast in Mangaluru even as the Karnataka police on Thursday launched a probe into the matter to verify “the genuineness of the organisation”.

A post by the IRC claiming the responsibility behind the improved explosive device (IED) blast has been doing rounds on the instant messaging app telegram , a police official privy to the matter said. According to the post, the organisation said that its ‘Mujahid brother Mohammed Shariq’ attempted to attack a ‘Hindutva Temple in Kadri.’

“We the Islamic Resistance Council (IRC) would like to convey the message: One of our Mujahid brothers Mohammed Shariq attempted to attack the Hindutva Temple in Kadri (in Dakshina Kannada district), a bastion of the Saffron terrorists in Mangaluru,” the message read.

It further said, “Although this operation didn’t meet its objectives, we still consider it a success from a tradecraft and tactics point of view as the brother in spite of being wanted and being pursued by the state and central intelligence agencies, was not only able to successfully evade them but even prepared and mounted an attack.”

For the “premature explosion” which led to Shariq’s arrest, the outfit said such possibilities exist with “all military and subversive operations”. The outfit even warned the additional director general of police (law and order) Alok Kumar.

“As for those rejoicing at the arrest of the brother, especially the likes of ADGP Alok Kumar, we say ‘Your joy will be short-lived and you shall reap the fruits of your oppression soon. We have you in our sights and it is just a matter of what and not if we will get to you.”

Regarding the attack, the IRC said they are forced into this war and the path of resistance by the fascists and “we are only responding to the worst forms of state terrorism.”

“We are only retaliating because an open war has been declared upon us because mob lynching has become a norm, because oppressive laws and legislations are passed to suppress us and interfere in our religion, because our innocents are languishing in prisons, because public spaces today reverberate with a call of our genocide,” the outfit’s message said.

Meanwhile, ADGP Alok Kumar said that the police are verifying the genuineness of the organisation. “We are verifying the genuineness of the avowed organisation and veracity of the contents of the post,” he said.

An intelligence officer based in Karnataka said that the agencies were not aware of any such organisation. “Yes, police are probing this post and the course of the investigation will continue, but it is not raising any alarms for us as of now. Anyone can make a poster and put it on social media. There is no evidence of Shariq getting any financial or logical support. He was scrapping match boxes to get material to make a bomb,” the officer pointed out.

According to the officer, police are currently probing Abdul Matheen Taha, who is suspected to be a close associate of Shariq. “Our focus will remain on tracking Taha, because he is a stronger and more plausible lead. When we probed Taha’s background he was part of Al-Hind, which is local organisation inspired by the Islamic State. So, the focus remains there,” he added.

The officer also pointed out the claims that the target was ‘Temple in Kadri’ can’t be taken at face value. “… it is a very simple reason. “He was staying in Mysuru and it is easy to reach Kadri from Mysuru but he went to Mangaluru, which doesn’t match up. Let the police investigate,” he added.

A day after the blast in Mangaluru, which took place inside an autorickshaw and injured the driver and the bomber Shariq, state police chief Praveen Sood had declared the incident an “act of terror with the intention to cause serious damage”.

On Sunday police identified Shariq as the bomber. According to police, videos on how to make a bike bomb, and cooker bomb have been recovered from Shariq’s phone. The investigation pointed out that the nature of the IED shows that the group didn’t have large funding or support. Police identified the material used to make the IED has potassium chlorate, which is used to manufacture match boxes and crackers.

The police have recovered 150 matchboxes, sulphur powder and gunpowder from the house Shariq stayed in, in Mysuru.

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