[ad_1]

BENGALURU: Nine people were injured, three of them severely, when a timer-operated bomb planted at a popular quick-service restaurant in Bengaluru’s tech corridor exploded on Friday afternoon. The bomb was left in a bag by an unidentified man who walked in earlier, ordered food, ate and left. Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah called it a “low-intensity blast caused by an improvised explosive device (IED)”.He said those behind the blast would not be spared.
The IED exploded at Rameshwaram Cafe in Brookefield (near ITPL Road) at 12.55pm, when the eatery was teeming with around 250 customers, mostly employees of software companies and financial services firms.
Preliminary investigations showed the alleged bomber is a man aged 25-30. Senior police officers who analysed CCTV video footage said the masked man was seen getting off a bus right near the restaurant and walking in around 11.30am. He paid for a plate of rava idli at the cash counter and took a token. He left around 11.45am, after placing the bag near the dustbin. An hour later, the bomb was detonated using a timer.City cops are deploying AI-powered facial recognition technology to identify the person who left the bag. “The suspect has been identified, his facial features have been captured by CCTVs, and the same is being matched using facial recognition systems to track him,” deputy CM D K Shivakumar said.
Shivakumar said Central Crime Branch has been entrusted with investigating the crime and is hopeful of apprehending the suspect in a day or two. Eight teams have fanned out on the manhunt, he said. “CCTV cameras are being examined to know from where the suspect came and where he went. I am confident our cops will nab him.”
Police found a timer device, a few nuts and bolts used as shrapnel, broken pieces of a tiffin box and a bag at the site. A senior police officer said no one has claimed responsibility for the blast. National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths visited the site. Bengaluru was put on high alert and surveillance in crowded areas was intensified.
CCTV footage showed the blast ripping through the eating area even as office-goers were busy at lunch, engulfing it in smoke and dust. One victim, a 40-year-old woman, suffered 40% burns, while others ended up with hearing problems. They were shifted to hospitals.
Brookfield Hospital medical director Dr Pradeep Kumar said three people injured in the blast were brought in. “Based on injuries we have seen, it seems like a low-intensity blast… their clothes have been kept aside and will be given to the forensics team,” he said.
Police are investigating a business rivalry angle, but restaurant co-founder Divya Raghavendra Rao discounted it. “Usually, business rivalry involves other tricks… I do not think anyone goes to the extent of harming people and posing a security threat,” she said. The restaurant in the heart of the tech hub has been endorsed on social media by celebrities and Bollywood actors. It was roped in as one of the caterers for an event in the lead-up to a big-ticket wedding.
Shivakumar and state home minister G Parameshwara visited the injured in hospital. “Govt will foot the hospital bills of the injured,” Shivakumar said. “We do not want Bengalureans to be scared. In fact, we have told the restaurant to resume normal operations from Saturday morning,” Parameshwara said.
“Whenever Congress comes to power, terrorists and anti-national elements become emboldened,” BJP’s R Ashoka alleged. CM Siddaramaiah appealed to opposition parties not to “politicise” the issue.



[ad_2]

Source link