Came on Bus, Sat Near Wash Basin: AI Being Used to Trace Bengaluru Blast Suspect Caught on CCTV; Business Rivalry Probed

Last Updated: March 02, 2024, 09:40 IST

Staff and customers at Rameshwaram Cafe after the blast on Friday. (Image: PTI)

According to the police, the suspect allegedly placed the said bag in the cafe and then left before the blast took place. He was seen wearing a mask and a cap

At least nine people were injured in an explosion at Bengaluru’s Rameshwaram Cafe on Friday. The blast occurred around 1:00 pm at the Whitefield branch of the cafe in the city’s Rajajinagar.

Initially, it was speculated that a gas leak could have triggered the blast, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it was an “improvised explosive” in a bag kept by an unidentified man.

A day after the incident, CCTV footage has emerged showing a man entering the cafe carrying a bag.

The blast was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), top intelligence sources told News18. The agencies are mainly looking at two angles – terror and business rivalry.

Latest Updates in Rameshwaram Cafe Blast –

  • A day after the blast, CCTV footage purportedly showing a suspect carrying a bag inside the cafe’s premises has emerged.
  • According to the police, the suspect allegedly placed the said bag in the cafe and then left before the blast took place. He was seen wearing a mask and a cap.
  • The suspect took a token for Rava Idli at 11:30 am, more than an hour before the blast occurred at 12:56 pm on Friday.
  • Home Minister G Parameshwara said the investigation has revealed that the suspect travelled in a bus. 
  • Police are scouring the CCTV footage to find which bus he took and where he travelled from.
  • The blast took place at the customer seating area which was close to the washing basin.
  • In the explosion place bolts, nuts and other materials were found.
  • Police have recovered the timer device used in the blast. It is not a clock but a sophisticated electronic timer device.
  • According to a preliminary probe, high-grade explosives like RDX were used in the blast, however, only a forensic test will reveal what kind of explosives.
  • NSG teams and Police also picked up additional evidence from the blast site late Friday night.
  • A case has been registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act UAPA, Explosive Substances Act, IPC 120B, 324 and 307.
  • Home Minister G Parameshwara has hinted at business rivalry as a potential cause behind the incident.
  • A team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials from the agency’s Bengaluru office is assisting the city police in investigating the blast.
  • A team of FSL, Bomb Disposal Squad and Dog Squad visited the explosion site at The Rameshwaram Cafe for investigation on Saturday morning.

Who Owns Rameshwaram Cafe?

According to a Hindustan Times report, the owners of  The Rameshwaram Cafe are Raghavendra Rao and Divya Raghavendra Rao. While Raghavendra is a mechanical engineer with over 20 years of experience in the food industry, Divya is a qualified chartered accountant who did her post-graduation from IIM Ahmedabad in Finance and Management.

Raghavendra is the founder and promoter of IDC Kitchen and leads operations at the Rameshwaram Cafe chain. Divya, on the other hand, heads the management and finance department of The Rameshwaram Cafe.

What did Rameshwaram Cafe Owners Say About the Blast?

The cafe’s owners said that they are cooperating with the law enforcement authorities in connection with the blast.

“We are deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident at our Brookefield branch. We are cooperating with the authorities and officials in their investigations,” the cafe said in a statement.

According to a Hindustan Times report, Divya Raghavendra Rao also said they are offering support to those injured.

“Our thoughts are with the injured and their families, and we are offering them all the support, assistance and care they need and praying for their speedy recovery,” she added.

(With inputs from Harish PP, Reethu M)

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