BENGALURU: The passenger in the auto rickshaw which witnessed an explosive blast inside it on Saturday in Mangaluru has been identified as Mohammed Shariq (24), who was earlier involved in the terror graffiti case in Mangaluru in November 2020. He was recently enlarged on bail, sources confirmed to TNIE.
Shariq is from Thirthahalli and was travelling in the auto rickshaw under the fake identity of Prem Raj with a pressure cooker IED that exploded and injured him as well as the driver Purushottam. The blast happened under the Kankanady police station limits in Mangaluru on Saturday evening.
Director General & Inspector General of Police, Praveen Sood on Sunday morning had clarified that it was not an accident but an act of terror.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that he allegedly wanted to plant the IED at a certain target place in Mangaluru city, but the explosive went off inside the auto rickshaw injuring him and the driver. The forensic team, which is carrying a spot investigation, has found a circuit and timer inside the pressure cooker,” sources said.
“On November 19, at around 5.15 pm, an auto rickshaw caught fire injuring the passenger and the auto rickshaw driver Purushottam. Both had suffered some burn injuries and were shifted to the hospital,” Mangaluru city police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar.
Sources also confirmed with TNIE that Shariq had recently travelled to Coimbatore where on October 23, a car with an LPG cylinder in the boot exploded at Kodaimedu killing the driver --- a 29-year-old Jamesha Mubeen. The police had recovered charred remains of Mubeen near the car, a crushed LPG cylinder, two-inch-long iron nails, tiny glass marbles, and a black powder-like substance. The case, which was initially registered and investigated by the TN police, is now being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after the BJP demanded a probe by a Central agency alleging that it was a terror act.
Meanwhile, police sources said the suspect had obtained a mobile SIM card using the fake Aadhaar card, which was found from the site of explosion.
That SIM card was used everywhere by him, they said.
Recently, a few terror suspects were arrested from Shivamogga including some youth who were in touch with the terror outfit Islamic State (IS) through social media.