Bomb-making ingredients in house shocked landlord

Bomb-making ingredients in house shocked landlord

The landlord who let his house to men claiming to be from West Bengal was shocked to realise that the materials they left behind were ingredients for bomb making.

Samiullah (46) waited for two months when the men who rented his house disappeared without a trace last year. He then collected the materials they left behind and stored it in a different room in the house.

But on Sunday, National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials, who knocked on his doors, found that the materials he had stored away were used to make IEDs and rockets.

Samiullah supplies water to tankers from a borewell, besides renting out a few houses he owns in  Mastan Sab Garden on the Old Railway station Road in North Bengaluru’s Chikkabanavara locality.

Tension gripped the ‘mohalla’ when scores of NIA officials and the jurisdictional Soladevanahalli police knocked on Samiullah’s doors.

The investigators brought with them Habibur Rehman, accused in the Burdwan blast case arrested in Doddabalapur on June 25.

NIA officials said Rehman confessed to have visited a house in Chikkabanavara at least twice in 2018 and was brought to Mastan Garden on Sunday for a spot inspection.

Samiullah told the police that he initially rented the house to two people. They soon requested three more of their associates to stay. Samiullah allowed them on condition that the newcomers should not stay in the night. The landlord also said many others frequented the house.

He rented out the single-bedroom house for Rs 3,800 with an Rs 15,000 advance. In the documents submitted to Samiullah, the men claimed they were from West Bengal.

The tenants also told Samiullah that they made fancy items like bangles, rings and other ornaments which they supplied to fancy stores in the city. They left home in the morning and returned late in the night.

Having rented the house in early May 2018, they stayed there only for two months and disappeared in July without informing Samiullah.

Samiullah waited for two months before opening the house, clearing away the leftover materials and renting it again to others.

NIA officials now suspect that the occupants of the house, identified as Najir Sheikh @ Patla Anas, Nazrul Islam @ Mota Anas, Asif Ikbal @ Nadim, Arif of Bangladesh and Jahidul Islam @ Kausar, fled a month before the agency arrested Adil Asadullah from Ramanagaram in August.

When NIA officials asked Samiullah where he had stored the leftover materials, the landlord promptly showed them the bag. On examining the materials, the official found five fabricated improvised hand grenade shells, a timer device, three electric circuits, a suspected explosive substance, a live 9mm ball ammunition, an assortment of components to make IED/rockets and several other materials to assemble explosives.

Samiullah claimed innocence and was shocked that he had stored away ingredients for bomb making. The NIA police have registered a case with the Soladevanahalli police under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and criminal conspiracy.