Bomb may have been placed after 6 pm: Police

 Investigations suggest that the low-intensity bomb which exploded in front of Coconut Grove restaurant on Church Street on Sunday night may have been placed at the spot only after 6 pm, the police said.

“From detailed analysis of CCTV footages and the information gathered from a few shopkeepers on Church Street, it now appears that the bomb was placed only after 6 pm. Three men are seen moving on the stretch repeatedly after 6 pm. The movement of the three is highly suspicious. Unfortunately, their faces are not clearly visible,” a senior police officer supervising the probe told Deccan Herald.

The probe so far indicates that either the three men placed the bomb, or they were keeping a watch on the entire locality assisting a couple of their associates in placing the explosive near the restaurant. “We are still in the process of reconstructing the entire evening,” he added.

Meanwhile, joint police teams from Bengaluru, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have launched a manhunt for five former Simi operatives who they suspect masterminded the blast on Church Street.

“The teams are searching for them with more focus on the coastal region as there are reports they could be hiding there. The teams are also searching for another six Simi men who had escaped from Khandwa prison in Madhya Pradesh,” said the officer. The police are also on the lookout for former Simi operatives and those who were actively involved in its activities before it was banned some years ago. A few Simi sympathisers are likely to be questioned, the officer added.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team will visit the Bangalore Central Prisons at Parappana Agrahara to question a few persons arrested in connection with terror attacks in the past. Those inside the prison may not be directly involved, but might give critical leads. The NIA is studying the process of regrouping of Simi operatives after the ban. Some of the former operatives are reformed now. The police are of the opinion that such men might throw some light about those who are still active.

The investigating team is yet to conclude where actually the bomb was made. “It is certain that the bomb was not prepared in the City. It appears that they assembled the materials on the City outskirts.

As in many previous incidents, they seem to have conducted a recce the Church Street and chosen a place near the entrance of Coconut Grove where there was a bush. They also selected a cloth with a particular colour resembling the bush so that the abandoned cover went unnoticed,” the officer added.

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