NIA takes over investigation of Mangaluru cooker blast case

A cooker fitted with detonator, wires and batteries found during the investigation after an explosion in an auto-rickshaw in Mangaluru, on November 20, 2022.
| Photo Credit: PTI

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday November 30 took over from Mangaluru police the investigation into the November 19 pressure cooker blast in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru wherein Mohammed Shariq, who was carrying the cooker, and autorickshaw driver Purushottam Poojari were injured.

According to sources, NIA sleuths on Wednesday questioned Shariq, who is accused of carrying the pressure cooker that contained explosive substances and circuits, in the autorickshaw. Passers-by saw smoke while the autorickshaw was on the move, and the fire caused burns to Shariq and Pujari.

Shariq had sustained 40% burns and is not in a position to talk since the incident. The city police questioned Purushottam Pujari. Simultaneously, they gathered more information about Shariq and his activities while waiting for permission from doctors to confront Shariq about the incident.

On Wednesday evening, NIA sleuths took over the investigation and visited the hospital where Shariq is undergoing treatment. Following permission from doctors, the NIA sleuths had briefly questioned Shariq, sources said.

Shariq was earlier arrested by Mangaluru police in connection with two cases registered for communally sensitive and anti-national graffiti that had come up at two places in the city in November 2020. A case was registered against him in Shivamogga too. He obtained bail and got involved with terrorist activities, police said.

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