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HomeNews ReportsRameshwaram cafe blast: NIA raids 11 locations across India, arrests Bengaluru-based Sohail over alleged...

Rameshwaram cafe blast: NIA raids 11 locations across India, arrests Bengaluru-based Sohail over alleged links with mastermind Abdul Matheen

The NIA officials also raided the house of a retired headmaster, Abdul, in Rayadurgam town in Andhra Pradesh. The agency also arrested and questioned his son, Sohail, over suspicious bank deposits.

On Tuesday (21st May), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches at 11 locations across various states in connection with the Rameshwaram cafe blast. A low-intensity IED took place on 1st March this year at the Rameshwaram cafe in Bengaluru in which 10 people suffered grievous injuries. 

“Multi-state raids were underway in different locations,” a senior NIA official said, without sharing further details. According to the officials, the searches are being carried out based on specific inputs and information gathered during the questioning of Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Abdul Matheen Taha, who planned and executed the blast. 

The officials added that Kumaraswamy Layout and Banshankari in Bengaluru were among the places that were raided.   

According to reports, the NIA officials also raided the house of a retired headmaster, Abdul in Rayadurgam town, Andra Pradesh’s Anantapur district. They questioned retired headmaster Abdul and his son, Sohail who is a software engineer about suspicious bank deposits. Later, the Police detained Sohail who is currently being questioned by the NIA at Raydurga Police Station. 

According to South First, an official confirmed to them that Sohail had been under the radar of the NIA and intelligence agencies for a while due to his suspected links with Abdul Matheen, the mastermind of the blast, as per NIA.

NIA took control of the blast case on 3rd March. On 12th April it arrested two main accused in this case including the mastermind Adbul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa and bomber Mussavir Hussain Shazib. Shazib is accused of placing the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the cafe. They were arrested from a lodge near Kolkata, where they were staying under fake identities.

It is also alleged that both of them are members of the Shivamogga-based Islamic State module. Shariq, a member of the same module, had carried out a blast in Mangaluru on 19th November 2022, the officials said.

NIA raids at 11 locations include searches on two Coimbatore-based doctors

The NIA also conducted raids at the residences of two Coimbatore-based doctors in Tamil Nadu. According to reports citing sources, two teams of NIA carried out raids at the residences of the two doctors at Periya Subbanna Gounder Street and Narayana Guru Road at Saibaba Colony.

According to sources, both the doctors hailed from Karnataka and they have been undergoing training in a private hospital at Saibaba Colony in Coimbatore for over two years. Other details are yet to emerge. 

The agency started the searches early in the morning and reportedly ended by 8 AM. 

On 23rd October 2022, there was a car bomb explosion in front of the Arulmigu Kottai Sanagameswar temple in Ukkadam, Coimbatore. Later, the authorities found the charred body of a 29-year-old youth, Jamesha Mubin at the blast site. 

According to reports, the suicide bomber was planning to explode himself along with the car near a market on 23rd October 2022, which was Diwali eve. However, it exploded before the expected time. Since that attack, several people and organisations in the Coimbatore region have been under the radar of the Central agencies. 

Meanwhile, according to Hyderabad-based Journalist Sudhakar Udumula, NIA’s Bengaluru branch apprehended a trader in Vikarabad district in these raids. The man, in his fifties, is originally from Pune but currently resides in Nanded, Maharashtra, where he runs a fruit business, the journalist added.

Sources confirmed that the trader was reportedly involved in previous cases and had been earlier convicted in a case in Karnataka, Udumula added. 

It was earlier reported that agencies are trying to nab the online handler of the cafe blast accused who goes by the codename “Colonel”. According to the authorities, “Colonel” was in touch with Taha, the alleged mastermind, and Shazib, the alleged bomber, since their association with the ISIS Al-Hind module in 2019-20. 

According to an NIA charge sheet, Taha and Shazib were previously part of a 20-member Al-Hind module that planned to establish an ISIS province in the jungles of South India. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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