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Cafe blast: Don’t jump to hasty conclusions 

It is unwise to make any conjectures about the case and make them public. They could only do harm and create apprehensions in the minds of the people.
Last Updated 03 March 2024, 23:59 IST

Two days after the explosion at the popular Rameshwaram Cafe in Brookefield in Bengaluru, no firm leads have emerged on the person who may have planted the device. There are no clear clues about the motive either. The explosion was strong enough to injure 10 people, one of whom suffered 40 per cent burn injuries. Another is likely to lose sight in one eye. The blast has broken the peace that prevailed in the city and in the state for a long time. It is to be assumed, from the circumstances and the evidence so far available, that it was an attack on a public place and was therefore targeted randomly at people. This is after eliminating most possibilities of an accident or act of business rivalry. A case has been registered against unknown persons under various sections of the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and the IPC.

The police have indicated that there could be a possible link between the Brookefield blast and the 2022 Mangaluru cooker blast because the detonator and the timer used are similar. A cooker bomb had accidentally gone off in an autorickshaw on the outskirts of Mangaluru. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which investigated the case, had linked it to the earlier Coimbatore blasts and suggested that the accused had been inspired by the Islamic State (IS). However the police have also said that any possible link with the IS for the Brookefield incident was only one line of investigation and several others were being pursued. The suspect who left the cafe after the blast has not been identified yet. There are reports that some persons have been detained but the police have denied any arrest in connection with the case. 

It is unwise to make any conjectures about the case and make them public. They could only do harm and create apprehensions in the minds of the people. The public would naturally be concerned about security in public places and the government should take steps to ensure that there is no threat to life, limb and property. The police and other security and intelligence organisations should be especially alert and active on this front. The coming weeks will be especially sensitive because the country is in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. There would be temptation to politicise the incident, and that can do harm even to those who do so and try to benefit from it. The investigation should be left to the police and other agencies aiding it.

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(Published 03 March 2024, 23:59 IST)

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