Bengaluru cafe blast accused sent to 10-day NIA custody

Taha is key to almost all terror-related cases in Karnataka since 2019.
NIA brings Mussavir Hussain Shazeb and Adbul Matheen Taha, to Bengaluru in connection with The Rameshwaram Cafe blast on Saturday
NIA brings Mussavir Hussain Shazeb and Adbul Matheen Taha, to Bengaluru in connection with The Rameshwaram Cafe blast on Saturday Photo| Express

BENGALURU: The two accused in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case -- mastermind Adbul Matheen Taha and bomber Mussavir Hussain Shazeb -- were brought to Bengaluru by a late evening flight from Kolkata on a three-day transit remand by a team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials.

On Saturday, the duo was produced before the NIA court in Bengaluru, which remanded them to police custody for 10 days. They will be taken to Shivamogga for further investigation.

Taha is key to almost all terror-related cases in Karnataka since 2019. He is allegedly a member of ‘Al Hind IS’ - a self-proclaimed terror outfit, which was formed in Bengaluru by Mehboob Pasha, Khaja Moideen alias Jalal of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu and their associates in 2019. The module is said to be behind the murder of a Hindu leader in Tamil Nadu.

“Though the objective of this module is to spread terror in south India, unlike Indian Mujahideen (IM), whose homegrown cadres were indoctrinated to be jihadis -- the ‘Al Hind IS’ module is a group of mercenaries.

“They are given targets and incentivised by their overseas handler, who pays them in crypto currency. Incentives vary from Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000,” said informed sources

Taha and Shazeb were arrested in the wee hours of Friday morning from a low-budget lodge in Contai (Kanthi) in Purba Medinipore district, West Bengal, in a joint operation by the NIA, Central and state police agencies of WB, Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala. Taha and Shazeb had checked into the lodge recently and were living under false identities. According to sources, a team of CCB officials, Bengaluru police has consistently been with the NIA to nab the two fugitives.

According to sources, they travelled to north Karnataka, Tamil Nadu before going to WB, where they fell under the radar of the Central agencies, which were keeping a close watch on their movements. The NIA has extensively been quizzing families, friends and associates including college friends of the duo for more information on the two.

The photographs, CCTV footage and details of Taha and Shazeb, along with Rs 10 lakh bounty each, on credible information leading to their arrest that were shared by the agency have widely been disseminated across the country. 

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