Hours after components of an improvised explosive device (IED) was found in a bag outside the Mangaluru International Airport, the police released CCTV image of a suspect on Monday. The man is seen wearing a white shirt, a white cap, a pair of glasses and black trousers but his face is not clearly seen in the CCTV footage. The suspect is also seen carrying a diary in his left hand. Along with the man’s image a photo of the autorickshaw has also been released by the police.
Police officials in Mangaluru also said that the IED was safely detonated at an isolated place. The controlled explosion took place in a large field in Kenjar, nearly a kilometre away from the airport. According to the police, bomb experts buried the components under the mud and surrounded the area with sandbags before triggering the explosion. However, police remain tightlipped about the nature of the explosive material used.
A case under the Explosive Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act has been registered in Bajpe Police Station. Mangaluru Police Commissioner PS Harsha said that three teams have been formed to nab the accused.
Police had on Monday morning recovered a suspicious bag with components of the IED outside the airport. The bag was left there by a man, who arrived at the airport in an autorickshaw, said officials at the time.
The CISF personnel deployed at the airport saw the suspicious bag at around 8.45 am and called the police control room. By 10 am, the canine squad and the bomb disposal unit inspected the bag and the area was cordoned off.
At that time, CISF Chief PRO Anil Pandey told TNM, "We found traces of an IED from a bag lying at the ticket counter at Mangaluru airport. It has been evacuated safely. The IED did not have any triggering material. The bag has been taken out of the airport for investigation."
Following this, security was heightened in all airports of the state.
Speaking on the issue, Mangaluru Police Commissioner, PS Harsha had earlier said that all safety protocols were followed and a bomb detection squad was sent to the isolation bay in explosive confinement vehicle. All the people near the area were evacuated and police cordoned off that particular space.
The passengers who were waiting for their flights were sent away from that place to safety. While no flights were cancelled, air traffic moving towards Mangaluru was diverted.
This incident occurred even though local police and the CISF were on high alert ahead of Republic Day.