George Reviews Bhatkal, Church Street Cases

Published: 20th January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2015 04:54 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: The city police on Monday briefed Home Minister K J George on the progress in the case relating to the recent arrest of four alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives hailing from Bhatkal. They also updated him about the developments in the December 28 Church Street blast case.

Bengaluru police had arrested two suspects in Fraser Town on January 8, and one each in Bhatkal and Mangaluru soon after. Although George, who spoke to the media after the briefing, added nothing new to what the police have already revealed, he rubbished allegations that the investigators had planted evidence at the houses of the terror suspects from Bhatkal.

“We do not want to ruin Bhatkal’s name and I can assure you that the police have followed due procedure during their raids and arrests,” he said.

He admitted that some organisations from the coastal town had met him and complained that the police had not taken them into confidence. “We cannot inform the entire town that a raid is going to be conducted,” he said, adding that the police had no interest in framing anybody.

‘Free to Help’

Some NGO and social work groups are also saying they are terrified to help the impoverished families of the suspects. “Just because there are some extremist elements in Bhatkal, we cannot brand it a terrorist hub. We have no problem with social workers helping the family,” George said.

He said he was satisfied with the investigation into the Church Street blast case. On December 28, a bomb went off on Church Street, killing a woman and injuring four men. As of now, it appears the Indian Mujahideen is not connected with the blast, he said.

According to City Police Commissioner M N Reddi, his team is enhancing the clarity of images obtained from the CCTV cameras in the area. “We are questioning people who were earlier members of extremist organisations,” he said.

He said he couldn’t reveal more details as the case was still under investigation.

Counselling for Youths

The city police have identified some youths from Bengaluru influenced by Mehdi Masroor Biswas’ tweets promoting ISIS. According to Commissioner Reddi, the former ITC employee had influenced many in the state. “They are being advised, counselled, their family asked to ensure that the youngsters are discouraged from doing anything extreme,” Reddi said. George said he was satisfied with the precautions the police were taking for the Republic Day parade. Police said the area would be ‘sanitised’ a day before the celebrations. Construction and municipal workers involved in preparing the grounds have also been vetted, Reddi said.


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