Union minister's big ‘Tamil Nadu’ claim on Bengaluru cafe blast suspect; CM Stalin reacts strongly: ‘Reckless statement’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Union minister's big ‘Tamil Nadu’ claim on Bengaluru cafe blast suspect; CM Stalin reacts strongly: ‘Reckless statement’

Mar 20, 2024 07:20 AM IST

Union minister Shobha Karandlaje claimed that the suspect in the Rameshwaram cafe blast was from Tamil Nadu.

Union minister Shobha Karandlaje on Tuesday demanded Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara's resignation and accused the Congress government of bias against Hindus amid tensions over the assault on a trader allegedly for playing the 'Hanuman Chalisa' loudly in his shop during Azaan (Islamic call for prayer).

A member of Bomb disposal Squad at the Rameshwaram Cafe after a blast, in Bengaluru, Friday, March 1, 2024.(PTI)
A member of Bomb disposal Squad at the Rameshwaram Cafe after a blast, in Bengaluru, Friday, March 1, 2024.(PTI)

Several BJP leaders including Karandlaje were taken into preventive custody after they staged a demonstration in Bengaluru in response to the assault on the trader.

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“The police said that we could only leave after the Namaz was complete... I want to ask Siddaramaiah who's government is running here. Have Hindus not voted for you?... Hindus' insults are going on here constantly,” Karandlaje said.

Read: Rameshwaram cafe blast: NIA releases CCTV footage showing suspect, seeks help from public

A group of youths objected to a trader playing 'Hanuman Chalisa' loudly in his shop on Juma Masjid road on Sunday during 'Azaan' and assaulted him, according to police.

The BJP had called for a peaceful procession from the shop of the victim, Mukesh, with chanting of 'Hanuman Chalisa' by the participants.

“Boys come and beat up a boy in a shop where he was listening to Hanuman Chalisa. I just saw a video where they are roaming around with open swords in RT Nagar. There is no action. This government is protecting minorities and it is anti-Hindu... The law and order situation is poor and we demand Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara's resignation... We will keep fighting,” Karandlaje said.

Read: Bengaluru blast: What CCTV footage found about Rameshwaram Cafe ‘bomber’

While highlighting a series of incidents involving individuals from different states engaging in criminal activities within Karnataka, the minister went on to claim that the suspect involved in the March 1 blast at The Rameshwaram Cafe was from Tamil Nadu.

“One person comes from Tamil Nadu and plants a bomb in a cafe. Another man comes from Delhi and raises pro-Pak slogans in the Vidhan Soudha. Another man comes from Kerala and throws acid at college students,” the BJP MP said.

To be sure, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is leading the investigation into the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case, has not revealed the identity of the prime suspect. The state home minister last week told media persons that investigators were verifying the suspect’s identity and were drawing closer to locating him.

Reacting to Karandlaje's remarks, Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin strongly condemned what he described as a “reckless statement” saying “one must either be an NIA official or closely linked” to the blast to make such claims.

“Clearly, she lacks the authority for such assertions. Tamilians and Kannadigas alike will reject this divisive rhetoric of BJP,” Stalin said, calling for appropriate legal action against the Union minister for “causing threat to peace, harmony and national unity.”

“From the Prime Minister to cadre, everyone in the BJP should stop engaging in this dirty divisive politics at once. ECI must take note of this hate speech and initiate stringent action immediately,” Stalin posted on X.

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