Tamil Nadu Police on Sunday detained a resident of Udhagamandalam in Nilgiris district over his links with Mohammed Shariq, who was critically injured in an autorickshaw blast in Karnataka’s Mangaluru.
Mangalore Autorickshaw blast
Investigations by Karnataka police and central agencies into an explosion that occurred at an auto-rickshaw in Mangaluru on Saturday night ruled a terrorist act by Praveen Sood, Director General and Inspector General of Police, Karnataka.
DGP Praveen Sood said, ‘The suspect had faked his identity, and was carrying explosives in a cooker. His intentions were clearly not good and we have no doubt that this was not an accidental outburst. That’s why we termed it a terrorist incident.
The passenger has been identified as 24-year-old Mohammed Shariq, accused in two separate cases of illegal activities in Karnataka since 2020.
Story of Md. Shariq
Shariq is a resident of Thirthahalli in the neighbouring Shivamogga district of Karnataka. The passenger Shariq of the auto-rickshaw was carrying an Aadhaar identity card of an individual named Premraj Hutagi, a resident of Hubbali.
Police allege that Shariq has Islamic State leanings and is an associate of a leading member of Al-Hind, an Islamic State-leaning terrorist module based in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020.
The police investigation found that Shariq had been falsely living under the name of Premraj Hutagi in the city of Mysuru in a rented house for more than a month. He supposedly travelled to Mangaluru on Saturday.
Shariq’s family have been called from his hometown in Shivamogga district to identify him at the Mangaluru government hospital, police sources said. Both Shariq and self-driver Purushotham are hospitalized with burns in Mangaluru.
On Sunday, Karnataka police carried out searches at the house in Mysuru, where Shariq had been living as Premraj Hutagi and found evidence in the form of materials used to build the IED that accidentally exploded on the auto-rickshaw in Mangaluru.
Arrested in 2020
In early 2020, Shariq and Maaz were arrested by Mangaluru City Police for painting “pro-terrorism graffiti; on the wall of a building in the coastal city”.
In September this year, Shivamogga police SP BM Laxmi Prasad stated that Shariq discussed “fundamental ideas and concepts of jihad” with his two associates who had been arrested at the time.
The SP said that Shariq used to send PDFs, audio and video files, and other links related to extremism, radicalization, and the work of ISIS and other terrorist groups through various encrypted messaging apps.
Here are the key points
- Shariq was arrested three years ago in a case involving the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group.
- He was also involved in the Tipu Sultan controversy in Karnataka’s Shivamogga. In August this year, violence broke out in Shivamogga after a group of Tipu Sultan supporters tried to remove VD Savarkar banners. His name emerged as the main defendant in the case.
- He has a group of four to five people.
- All explosive material, batteries, circuit boards, and other materials used to make IEDs have been recovered from his home.
- So far no connection to the Coimbatore explosion has been established. On October 23, 2022, a cylinder explosion occurred in front of the Sangameswarar Temple in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
- He was doing everything self-financing and he radicalized in one room.
- He has 45% burn injuries and is not speaking at the moment.
- Doctors have been asked to take care of him and make sure he recovers.
- Sarbal Village: A hamlet in Kashmir waiting for development
- How to convert your old car into electric car in Delhi
- Farmers in MP face crop failure every year due to climate change
- Climate Change: Kishanganga Dam causes water concerns