The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the investigation into the 19 November pressure cooker blast in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru wherein a passenger, identified as Mohammed Shariq, was carrying a pressure cooker bomb made from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
The anti-terror agency took over the case this week soon after the Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalization (CTCR) division of the Ministry of Home Affairs handed over the investigation to it considering a terror plot behind the act. Speaking to news agency on Thursday,
N Shashikumar, Mangaluru Police Commissioner said, the case which was with Mangaluru City police will be investigated by NIA.
“On Wednesday doctor certified that the accused is now fit to be questioned. So our investigating officer and their team questioned him on certain inputs, which were to be taken up in the investigation. We received instructions from our chief office that the case is being transferred to NIA and we have finished the formalities. They are taking up the case for further investigation. Henceforth, the case which was with Mangaluru City police will be investigated by NIA,” said Shashikumar on Thursday.
The auto-rickshaw exploded leading to injuries to both the passenger, Mohammed Shariq, who was carrying a pressure cooker bomb made IED and the autorickshaw driver Purushottam Poojari. The cooker bomb was designed to carry out a large-scale attack to fuel communal tensions in the coastal region and in the state.
The NIA has started its investigation under the provision of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and investigating officers have started questioning the main accused Shariq as the state police have found his links with the Islamic State (IS) in its investigation, and he had radicalised his schoolmates, Syed Yasin and Muneer Ahmed, and introduced them to IS as well.