Rameshwaram Cafe blast: NIA arrests kingpin, bomber in Bengal

Rameshwaram Cafe blast: NIA arrests kingpin, bomber in Bengal

BJP, TMC trade barbs over sheltering terrorists

New Delhi/Kolkata:The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested two key accused, including the mastermind, in Bengaluru's Rameshwaram Cafe blast case from West Bengal, a development that triggered a war of words between the BJP and the state's ruling TMC. While the BJP alleged that the TMC has turned West Bengal into a "safe haven for terrorists", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the accused were arrested due to the state police's prompt action.

The accused, Adbul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa and Mussavir Hussain Shazib, were traced to their hideout near Kolkata. They were hiding under false identities, the officials said. Taahaa was the mastermind behind the planning and execution of the blast and Shazib placed the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the cafe, they said. They said that "this pursuit was supported by coordinated action and cooperation among the NIA, central intelligence agencies and the state police agencies of West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala".

An IED explosion rocked the Rameshwaram cafe located on ITPL Road, Brookefield, Bengaluru, on March 1.

Several customers and hotel staff members were injured, some of them grievously, in the blast that caused extensive damage to the property.

The NIA took over the probe on March 3 and had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to the arrest of each of the two accused. Following the arrests, BJP co-incharge of West Bengal Amit Malviya hit out at the TMC, saying the party has turned West Bengal into a “safe haven for terrorists”.

“NIA detains two chief suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast, bomber Mussavir Hussain Shazib and accomplice Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, from Kolkata. Both likely belon g to ISIS cell in Shivamogga, Karnataka. West Bengal, unfortunately, under Mamata Banerjee, has become a safe haven for terrorists,” Malviya said in a post on X.

Addressing a rally in Cooch Behar, Chief Minister Banerjee accused the BJP of spreading canards against the state. She said, “Heard one BJP leader saying that Bengal is not safe. The accused were arrested within two hours following a prompt response by police.

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