Church Street blast: Bengaluru Police detain three suspects from Bhatkal

Church Street blast: Bengaluru Police detain three suspects from Bhatkal

Church Street blast: Bengaluru Police detain three suspects from Bhatkal

Three suspected operatives of banned Indian Mujahideen were arrested today for their alleged role in the recent blast here that claimed the life of a woman.

The arrests were made during simultaneous raids conducted in the city and at Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada District, Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi told reporters here.

In Bhatkal, a substantial quantity of explosive materials, amonium nitrate as well as gelatin sticks along with a number of bomb making equipment were seized, he said.

Electronic circuit, digital circuit devices and detonators have also been seized, he said, adding, all these materials and equipment were used for making explosive devices. The seized material have been sent for forensic examination.

Reddi said during the raids, the suspected IM operatives Sayed Ismail Aafaque (34), Saddam Hussein (35) and Abdus Sabbuur (24), an MBA student, were picked up. All the three are residents of Bhatkal.

"All these persons are suspected to be members of banned IM and they were found to be in regular touch with other members of other banned organisations and IM," he said.

Intial information showed that they were operating under the direct instructions of a handler in the higher rung within their organisation, he said.

To a query, he said, there was no "direct link" of the arrested trio to the December 28 blast on Church Street here that killed a woman and injured three others but their suspected role was being probed.

"Prima facie we do not see connection with the Church street blast. However nothing could be ruled out at this stage.The handler is based out of this country," he said.

Reddi said two persons were arrested at Pulikeshinagar in Bengaluru and another at Bhatkal.

"A lot of incriminating material was seized from a house in Puliskeshinagar. Incriminating materials seized are such as electronic communication equipment and laptop," Reddi said.

Further investigation was being taken up jointly by the Bengaluru police and the Internal Security Division of the Karnataka police, he said.

Cases have been registered under various sections of the Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

He said the "quantity and sophistication of the incriminating material" and equipment for manufacturing explosive devices found in Bhatkal as well some of the incriminating electronic materials seized in Pulikeshinagar suggested that "it is part of a larger scheme of things."

The Improvised Explosive Device blast outside a restauraunt in central business district in Bengaluru, described as a terror attack by the government, had claimed the life of 38-year old Bhavani who was here from Tamil Nadu and injured three others