The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday, 11 January, conducted searches at some locations in Karnataka's Mangaluru as part of a money laundering probe linked to a cooker bomb blast that took place in the city last year, official sources said. The money laundering case of the federal probe agency is based on an FIR of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The ED officials conducted raids at a building in Mangaluru, where a Congress party office is also located, apart from some other locations as part of gathering documents and evidence in the case filed under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said. Sources said the agency searched an office in that building and no raids were conducted in the premises of any political party. Searches were also undertaken at some other places, they said.
A bomb blast took place in an auto rickshaw in the outskirts of Mangaluru on November 19 last year, and the man who was allegedly handling the explosives in the three-wheeler, Mohammed Shariq, is the main suspect in the case. He suffered 40% burns in the blast, and, according to police, Shariq and his accomplices were allegedly inspired by the terror outfit Islamic State and were in touch with it through the Telegram messaging application.
Police also said their handlers outside India had sent a document to guide them in making a bomb. Using the document, police had said, they made a bomb and carried out a trial on the banks of the Tunga river near Shivamogga district in Karnataka. The state police had said there was a plan to unleash large-scale destruction across Karnataka. Due to violence on August 15 last year over the Hindutva ideologue V Savarkar in Shivamogga, the police had unearthed an IS-inspired terror module, but Shariq had given the police the slip. The case was transferred to the NIA later.