NIA takes over Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast probe

The probe into the blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), sources said on Monday.
Last Updated 04 March 2024, 04:22 IST

Bengaluru: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday officially took over the probe into the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast case at a popular eatery in Bengaluru. The blast occurred at The Rameshwaram Cafe in the Brookefield area on March 1 that injured 10 people.

A highly-placed source in the Karnataka police confirmed to DH that during the day NIA officers from Delhi arrived in Bengaluru and met the investigators.

“The case files would be handed over to the NIA in the following days,” the source said, adding that the probe will be led by the Central agency.

The source also said that the NIA has registered a case suggesting the beginning of the probe by the investigation agency.

Following the IED blast, the state government handed over the probe to the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Bengaluru police. Soon after, the investigators identified the prime suspect to be a man aged 30-35. So far, no arrests have been made, CCB sources said Monday. 

Fresh footage accessed by the DH on Monday showed that the suspect deboarded a BMTC bus at a bus stop near the eatery on Kunadahalli main road between 11.20 am and 11.30 am. After briefly checking his backpack, the suspect entered the eatery at 11.34 am.

As he entered, the suspect took out his mobile phone from his trouser pocket and held it to his ear. After ordering a rava idly, the suspect kept a bag containing the IED near the tree adjacent to the seating platform where the explosion occurred, the investigators said. 

Floor manager Hariharan told the floor supervisor Rajesh KV that he saw the suspect with a plate of idly keeping a bag he was holding at the place where the blast occurred, the FIR noted. The suspect exited the eatery at 11.43 am, holding the mobile phone near his ear, the CCTV footage showed.

CCTV footage accessed earlier showed the suspect wearing a white cap with the number 10, a black face mask, a backpack, a long-sleeved shirt, dark trousers and shoes around 11.50 am walking on the Kundalahalli main road. Then, at 11:50:29, he quickly glanced at his wristwatch.

Two other footage also showed the suspect holding a plate of rava idly inside the eatery and a close-up where the suspect with a moustache appeared to be wearing spectacles, while his chin was covered with the facemask. CCTV footage from inside the eatery had the timestamp 12:55:31 when the IED exploded.

If the timestamp of the CCTV footage is considered, the suspect had at least a two-hour headstart. While the firefighters, who were alerted by locals, arrived after 1.15 pm, the police arrived later. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) arrived between 2.50 pm and 3 pm.

The case was registered under Sections 15 (terrorist act) and 16 (punishment for terrorist act) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UA(P)A), 307 (attempted murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 3 (punishment for causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property), 4 (Punishment for attempt to cause an explosion, or for making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property) of the Explosive Substances Act. 


11.20 am - 11.30 am: Suspect deboards BMTC bus near the eatery

11.34 am: Suspect enters Rameshwaram Cafe

11.43 am: Suspect exits the eatery

11.50 am: Suspect was seen walking on Kundalahalli main road

12.55 pm: IED blast at the eatery

(Published 04 March 2024, 04:22 IST)

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