10 injured in Bengaluru cafe IED blasts

The Asian Age.  | MB GIRISH

India, Crime

According to the police, the bomb explosions took place between 12.50 pm and 1 pm

Police personnel at the Rameshwaram Cafe after a blast, in Bengaluru, Friday, March 1, 2024. At least nine people were injured in the blast, according to police. (PTI Photo)

Bengaluru: Two low-intensity explosions within a span of 10 seconds at Rameshwaram Cafe, Kundalahalli of Whitefield, rocked Bengaluru on Friday at around 1 pm. At least 10 persons, including some customers and café staff, are reported injured in the twin blasts. Initial police investigations indicate that “low-intensity” bombs resulted in the blasts at the café.

According to the police, the bomb explosions took place between 12.50 pm and 1 pm. Initially, it was suspected that the blasts occurred at the café because of gas cylinders.

Later in the evening, Bengaluru city incharge minister and deputy chief minister D.K. Shivakumar who, along with minister for home G. Parameshwar, inspected the blast site and told the media that “low-intensity” bombs caused the blasts at the café.

The ministers said that the identity of the suspected person who placed the bombs hidden in a bag has been established by the police. The suspect is about 35 years old. The police, after going through the CCTV footage that recorded his movements, have established his identity.

According to police sources, the suspect alighted from a bus and entered the café at around 11.30 am and left behind him a bag in which bombs were hidden with the timer set for the blasts. An hour after the suspect left the café, the bombs exploded at the cafe, which left 10 injured, including some customers.

The Bengaluru crime branch is assigned the case for investigation. The city police have formed eight teams to nab the accused person. A case has been registered at HAL police station under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and the Explosives Substances Act.

Soon after the blasts, fire and emergency services personnel were pressed into service, while the bomb detection squad and forensic experts were at the site to gather details of the blast.

Regarding the blasts, managing director of Rameshwaram Café Divya said that the twin explosions were heard at the café within a span of 10 seconds and the explosive devices were placed inside the café. She denied reports that the explosions took place because of gas cylinder blasts. She said even in the past, some unknown persons had left behind bags at her café and police were informed about the abandoned bags even then.

An eyewitness, Nagaraj, said that he heard loud sounds and rushed to the site, where he found thick smoke had engulfed the café. He, along with others, managed to shift the injured to the hospital.

Another eyewitness, Sabareesh, stated that the flooring at the cafe was damaged and window panes were shattered into pieces because of the intensity of the blast. He claimed that the explosive materials were likely kept close to a dustbin.

Customers present inside the café at the time of the blast ran for their lives, leaving behind their belongings.

Farooq, a native of Assam, said that he was at the café for some work when blasts occurred. He sustained injuries and was treated at a private hospital. Another person who got injured in the blast said he was at the café at 1 pm for lunch. He said that he did not notice any suspicious person at the café.