Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast: CM says police suspect IED was used

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah said that the cashier of the cafe was being questioned and urged media not to politicise the incident.
Blast site at the Rameshwaram Cafe
Blast site at the Rameshwaram CafeX/Chandra R Srikanth
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Amid speculations about the nature of the blast that took place at the Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru’s Whitefield on Friday, March 1, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah said the police suspect an improvised explosive device (IED) was used to set off the blast. “One person came with a small bag. We don’t know who he is. He went to the cashier and took a token for food. The bag blasted. We are questioning the cashier to get more details,” the CM said. He also urged the media not to politicise the incident. 

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar also assured people that they need not worry, as investigations are underway. “Officials are investigating the motive behind the blast. They are investigating whether it was done by business rivals or if there was any other motive behind it,” he said.

Shivakumar noted that there was a CCTV camera about 2 km away from Rameshwaram Cafe and that they are looking at the footage from it. “The officials are checking who was in the range of the Rameshwaram Cafe. Nobody needs to worry. There are some people who are trying to disturb peace in the city and we will ensure protection,” he added.

At least eight people, including three staff members of the cafe and one customer, were injured in the blast that happened around 1 pm. Those injured have been shifted to the hospital.

The explosion took place during the busy lunch hour, when office goers from the surrounding area tend to line up at the cafe.  An eyewitness told TNM that there were around 35-40 people in the cafe at the time of the blast. Eyewitnesses recalled that they first saw a plume of black smoke, followed by a loud blast from the direction of the kitchen.

Read: 'Loud noise, huge plume of smoke': Bengaluru Rameshwaram cafe blast eyewitnesses

An eyewitness who spoke to TNM said, “The blast was very loud. Around four to five customers were at the spot.” Co-founder and managing director of Rameshwaram Cafe Divya Raghavendra Rao told the media that the blast took place twice within 10 seconds, and at least three staff and one customer were injured. “The blast originated from a bag, no chance of it being a cylinder blast because our cylinders are not located there. The place where the blast happened only had a few dustbins and a hand wash area,” she added.

Bomb squads and forensic teams were deployed to investigate the site of the blast and all inflammable materials were removed from the cafe’s kitchen. Fire force and forensic teams, had first reached the spot for a detailed probe.

Two hours before the police and the government confirmed about the nature of the blasts, Tejasvi Surya, BJP’s Member of Parliament (MP) from Bangalore South constituency, wrote on X (Twitter), “Just spoke to Rameshwaram Café founder Sri Nagaraj about the blast in his restaurant. He informed me that the blast occurred because of a bag that was left by a customer and not any cylinder explosion. One of their employees is injured. It’s seems [sic] to be a clear case of a bomb blast. Bengaluru demands clear answers from CM Siddaramaiah.”

Rameshwaram Cafe is a popular eatery joint in Bengaluru, well-known for their dosas. With several branches across the city, the hotel runs everyday between 6.30 am and 1 am. Several celebrities, including former Masterchef Australia chef Gary Mehigan, have visited the cafe. Recently, actor Kartik Aaryan visited the cafe.

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