NIA questions Bareilly preacher in Bengaluru cafe blast case - Hindustan Times
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NIA questions Bareilly preacher in Bengaluru cafe blast case

Mar 28, 2024 05:35 PM IST

NIA had been camping in Bareilly since Tuesday and raided the preacher’s house in Dhaura Tanda town on Wednesday early morning after tracing his mobile phone location

Lucknow: The Lucknow unit of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday raided the house of a preacher in Bareilly and questioned him for several hours in connection with the blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru on March 1, senior police officials said on Thursday.

National Investigation Agency (File Photo)
National Investigation Agency (File Photo)

Officials said the preacher came on the NIA’s radar as his mobile phone location was found in Karnataka on the day of the blast.

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The NIA team had been camping in Bareilly since Tuesday and raided the preacher’s house in Dhaura Tanda town under the Bhojipura police station limits on Wednesday early morning after tracing his mobile phone location, officials said.

Officials said that during the raid, the preacher was not found at his house and was later picked up from a place of worship and taken to the Bhojipura police station in Bareilly for questioning.

A senior police officer said the NIA team questioned him for around five hours. The officer said that the agency team left after questioning the preacher, issuing instructions that he could not leave the city without informing the police.

Also Read: Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast: NIA yet to detain any suspect, denies reports

The local police have been asked to keep vigil on the preacher and inform the NIA if he ventures outside Bareilly, the officer added.

Another official privy to the development stated that the preacher was asked about his presence in Karnataka on the day of the blast, to which he said he was preaching at a Karnataka centre and returned to Bareilly after completing his work.

The official said the agency could initiate action against the preacher if his involvement surfaces in the investigation.

Meanwhile, the NIA on Wednesday raided multiple places across the country in connection with the blast case.

A low-intensity improvised explosive device (IED) blast took place at the Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru in which at least 10 people were injured. The investigation agency suspects the IS Shivamogga module and Al-Hind module behind the blast.

Following the blast, the NIA announced a bounty of 10 lakh for information about the bomber in connection with the blast. The agency also released a picture of the suspected bomber, captured from the CCTV camera footage while keeping a bag in the Rameshwaram Cafe.

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