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Top Cop Says Mangaluru Autorickshaw Blast Intended To Disrupt Harmony 

"It was a low-intensity IED explosion. There was an attempt to disrupt harmony in the area, and it was averted. Right now we've no info to suggest this blast related to the Coimbatore blast," said ADGP Kumar.

Karnataka ADGP Alok Kumar. (Image: ANI)
Karnataka ADGP Alok Kumar. (Image: ANI)

Bengaluru: In a major breakthrough in the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast case, Additional Director General of Police Alok Kumar on Sunday visited the spot and said that the bomb was implanted with an aim to disrupt harmony in the area.”There was an attempt to disrupt harmony in the area,” the senior police official said. ADGP Kumar also informed that the blast was a low-intensity explosion.

“It was a low-intensity IED explosion. There was an attempt to disrupt harmony in the area, and it was averted. Right now we’ve no info to suggest this blast related to the Coimbatore blast,” he added. ADGP Kumar also informed about the condition of the victim and the suspect.

“Victim Purshottam Pujari has 20-25 per cent burn injuries. The suspect has 40-45 per cent burn injuries. We’re trying our best to give him the best medical treatment so that he survives as he needs to be questioned. As he can’t speak we haven’t been able to establish his identity,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister on Sunday indicted the man injured in the blast of terror links. “The bomb blast in Mangaluru prima facie looks like an act of terror and the government would crack this case,” he said. Talking to reporters here on Sunday, Bommai said an IED exploded inside a pressure cooker in an auto rickshaw in Mangaluru on Saturday evening.

“In the incident, the autorickshaw driver and a passenger were injured. Both of them are being treated in a hospital. The police have taken up this case seriously and started an investigation. It looks like IED-like equipment has been used in this incident. Bommai said that the man, who was travelling in the auto might have terror links, but more information will come out after the detailed investigation.

“All of you are aware of the blast in Mangaluru yesterday at 4.45 pm. Two including the auto driver and passenger are under treatment. The state police are investigating the matter and as per the primary information, it was because of an IED instrument,” Bommai said. The CM said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies have already visited the spot and taken up the probe.

“Since the injured are recuperating in hospital, more information will be procured from him. As this individual had visited several places including Coimbatore he may have links with terrorist groups. This information has been shared by police after a preliminary probe. Any links of this blast incident with the banned PFI will be known after a thorough investigation,” he said.

A fire broke out in an autorickshaw in the Kankanadi police station area on Saturday. He further said that the man was having a duplicate Aadhaar card and that the police are also investigating all the details.

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“Police are going through all the details of the person who had a duplicate Aadhaar card in which a Hubli address was also mentioned in it. More information also came out after his real address was investigated. NIA and other teams are here for further investigation. He is under treatment as his leg is injured. After he gains consciousness, more information will come out,” CM said.

“As of now, police have got to know about his visits to different places that apparently show that it could be a terror attack and he had terror links. The truth will come out after a complete probe,” he further said. As the CM had visited Mangaluru yesterday just before the incident took place, Bommai said that the blast had nothing to do with his visit.

“There is nothing to do with my yesterday’s visit to Mangalore. I finished the event and returned to Bengaluru by 3 pm,” he said. Talking about the Popular Front of India (PFI) link to the blast, Bommai said that everything will come out once the investigation is complete. The incident is “not accidental” but an “act of terror”, said the DGP Karnataka on Sunday.

“It’s confirmed now. The blast is not accidental but an act of terror with the intention to causeserious damage. Karnataka State Police is probing deep into it along with central agencies,” tweeted DGP Karnataka. Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra also suspected it to be a terror-related incident.

Citing the incident Karnataka Home Minister said that the state police have launched an intensive investigation into the autorickshaw blast incident that took place in Mangalore. “Along with the state police, central investigation teams will also join hands. The investigation will proceed swiftly,” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, Commissioner of Police (CP) of Mangaluru City N Shashi Kumar said, “At around 5 pm today, an auto rickshaw caught fire in the Kankanadi Police Station area. The reason behind the fire was a bag being carried by a passenger riding in the auto. The auto driver and passenger sustained burn injuries and have been admitted to the hospital.”