Church street blast cracked, prime accused arrested: NIA

The Hindu, 29-01-2016 11:37:54

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed to have cracked the 2014 Church Street blast case and announced that Alam Jeb Afridi alias Javed Rafeeq (30), who was arrested by NIA and Telangana ATS recently confessed to the crime.

Afridi was the same suspect who stabbed a Telangana ATS constable Srinivasa, resisting arrest at Doddanagamangala, Parappana Agrahara. While the Telangana ATS and NIA, had picked him up in connection with the Ahmedabad 2008 blasts, he confessed to the Church Street blast in custody, NIA sources claimed. The agency also claimed that the target was an Israeli delegation that was purported to visit Coconut Grove restaurant, that day.

Afridi, NIA sleuths claimed, is a Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) cadre and was an accused in a case for organising SIMI meetings in Waghamon, Kerala, and was declared an absconder with a Rs. 3 lakh bounty on his head for at least five years now. He was close to several top SIMI leaders.

He had been residing in the city for more than three years as a AC mechanic and planted the bomb at Coconut grove, Church Street on December 28, 2014, killing a woman and injuring several others. This was him acting on the instructions of his handler, NIA said. However, the NIA sleuths are not forthcoming on the details of this handler. NIA sleuths are also not commenting on whether Afridi acted alone or if there was a larger group in the conspiracy.

NIA sleuths said that Afridi also carried out the Israeli Visa centre attack in Ulsoor in November 2015.

The NIA has kept the city police in loop about its terror operations in the city, a senior police officer said.

City Police Commissioner N.S. Megharik confirmed that NIA has sought logistic support for its probe in Afridi’s case.

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