Bengaluru: More than three weeks after the Improvised Explosive Device triggered blast here that claimed the life of a woman and injured three others, police today said there is no breakthrough yet in the case and they were following the clues.
“All that I can say about this case is that we are on work following the clues, we have dedicated teams working on this case 24/7. We are collecting information on suspected groups. Teams have also been sent to places to collect information about them,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi told reporters here.
“I can only say that there is no breakthrough in the investigation till now, but investigation is being carried out very actively and constructively”, he said. “We are eager to complete the investigation, we need some more team,” he said.
The blast triggered by an IED placed in a potted plant had occurred outside a restaurant on Church Street in central business district claiming the life of 38-year-old Bhavani who was on a visit to city from Chennai on December 28. On the recent arrest of three suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives, Reddi said due procedures were followed while raiding and seizing “incriminating materials” from the place where they had stored them.
Bengaluru Police on January 8 had claimed to have unearthed a terror module of IM with the arrest of its three alleged operatives and seizure of a huge cache of explosives during raids on their houses at Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada district and here. The fourth alleged operative was arrested on January 11 at the Mangaluru international airport before flying to Dubai.
On alleged pro-Islamic State twitter account handler Mehdi Masroor Biswas, he said, “now that investigation largely pertained to getting the cyber evidence, the evidence from the internet on his emails- the evidence is being collected with the co-operation of the various agencies.” Biswas was arrested on December 13 under IPC section 125 (waging war against the Government of any Asiatic power in alliance with the Government of India) sections 18 and 39 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.
To a question, Reddi said in a couple of cases, there were some youth who were impacted or influenced by some of the tweets and propaganda.
“...we have taken corrective measures to identify them and also on the lines of what Hyderabad police has been doing -we are interacting with the family, the community, and telling that that there is a possibility where a person might get more and more radicalised “There has not been large number of such influences we have found during our investigation; ....one such person we came across was from Bangalore,” he said.
Karnataka Home Minister K J George who held review meeting today said, “I'm satisfied with the progress made by the police in Bhatkal's IM operatives case as well as in the Church Street blast case. I'm also convinced that all precautionary measures have been taken for January 26 Republic Day celebrations.”
To a question about resurgence of IM activities and challenges before the state government, he said “investigations are going on. I don't want to comment more on it. It is not only in the coastal area we have to be alert across the state, that's our duty, we are doing it.” “Any such incident is a matter of concern for the state government; we have to take precautionary measure, that is what we are doing,” he said.
To a question whether there is any specific alert for Republic Day from the Central government, Reddi said “We have received inputs from central government, all the state governments have revived, the general circular from the Government of India, MHA regarding the precautions to be taken and we are implementing all of them.” Stating that there is a sense of heightened security in the wake of Republic day celebrations, he said very detailed security scheme has been prepared and multi-layer security has been put in place.
“We have ramped up our security and intelligence apparatus as the day comes close by,” he added.