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7 Mar, 2024 06:33

India offers hefty reward in search for ‘cafe bomber’

Several people were injured last week when an improvised explosive device was detonated at a busy eatery in Bengaluru
India offers hefty reward in search for ‘cafe bomber’

Indian authorities are offering a one million rupees ($12,000) reward for information on a man believed to be behind a cafe bombing in the city of Bengaluru, the country’s IT capital, which injured ten people last week. 

India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday released a grainy photograph of the suspect, who can be seen wearing a cap, mask, and glasses. The image was reportedly captured while he was entering the Rameshwaram cafe. The NIA, a specialist counterterrorism law enforcement agency, began its investigation on Tuesday at the direction of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). In seeking information on the suspect, it stressed that the identity of any informants would not be disclosed. 

A low-intensity blast struck the cafe in Bengaluru, the capital of the southern state of Karnataka, during the busy lunchtime period last Friday. CCTV footage showed the suspect entering the cafe an hour or so before the blast, before exiting minutes later and leaving behind a bag containing an IED with a timer, according to media reports.

Police have found vital clues and are advancing in their investigations, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said on Wednesday. The Central Crime Branch is also probing the incident, although no arrests have been made so far.

The case has been linked to a ‘cooker bomb blast’ in Karnataka’s Mangaluru in November 2022, The Hindu newspaper reported on Sunday. The explosive, detonator, timer, and mechanism used to set off the two bombs are said to have been similar. Local police are investigating the networks of four terror suspects who have managed to evade arrest. 

Security has been beefed up in public places across Bengaluru in the wake of the latest incident. Local police have also filed a case under India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosives Substances Act. The cafe has been closed and will reopen on March 8.

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