War of words between BJP and Mamata over arrest of Bengaluru bomb blast accused

The two accused in Bengaluru Rameshwaram cafe blast case were arrested in West Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district on Friday.
War of words between BJP and Mamata over arrest of Bengaluru bomb blast accused
War of words between BJP and Mamata over arrest of Bengaluru bomb blast accused
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A political slugfest broke out on Friday, April 12 after reports emerged that two prime suspects in the Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast case were arrested from West Bengal. The BJP criticised the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government, labelling the state a "safe haven for terrorists," while Mamata Banerjee commended the swift action of the state police in response.

“NIA detained two chief suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast– Mussavir Hussain Shazib and accomplice Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa– from Kolkata. Both likely belong to ISIS cells in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district. West Bengal, unfortunately, under Mamata Banerjee, has become a safe haven for terrorists,” BJP leader Amit Malviya said.

According to West Bengal police, the two accused were arrested in Purba Medinipur district on Friday. NIA in a press release said, “On finding out that the terrorists were staying in a lodge near Kolkata under assumed identities, the NIA requested the West Bengal police for securing the accused and the latter responded promptly, leading to a successful culmination of the search operation and apprehension of both terrorists.”

In response to Malviya's statement, the West Bengal Police refuted the claim through their official account, emphasising it was a collaborative effort. "This is sheer falsehood! Contrary to @amitmalviya's assertions, two suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case were apprehended from Purba Medinipur in a JOINT operation involving the West Bengal Police and Central Intelligence Agencies (sic)," the police said.

"West Bengal has NEVER been a safe haven for terrorists and the state police will continue to remain ever-vigilant in keeping its people safe from nefarious activities. The proactive role of WBP in the matter has been officially acknowledged by the Central Agencies (sic)," it further read. 

Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal hit out at the BJP stating that they did not desire a peaceful life. "Heard one BJP leader saying that Bengal is not safe. The accused were hiding here for two hours and within two hours they were arrested due to a prompt response by our state police. What about states where you (BJP) are in power? What about Uttar Pradesh Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, Bihar? People of Bengal want to live in peace but the BJP doesn’t like this,” she said.

Meanwhile, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said that Bengal was the "epicentre of all terror activities" and a threat to national security. TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh commended the West Bengal Police and alleged that it was a BJP leader’s family that was running illegal activities from Contai in Purba Medinipur district. “Well done @WBPolice in connection with the Bengaluru-cafe blast arrest. Even @NIA_India has acknowledged it in their statements. Any anti-forces should be strictly dealt with. But let me ask to @BJP4India and their minions – where are this arrests made from? KANTHI We all know which family and BJP’s main leader runs illegal activities from Contai. I urge the State agencies to investigate into this matter to find out that FAMILY’s links in providing shelter to ANTI-FORCES, (sic)” Ghosh said.

The NIA, in a press release, said that Mussavir Hussain Shazib was identified by the agency as the man who planted the Low-intensity Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the cafe while Abdul Matheen Taha was the mastermind behind the conspiracy. “They had planned and executed the explosion, which left several customers and staff members at the café grievously injured. Abdul Matheen also worked on the escape plans for the duo and managed to evade arrest all these weeks. The two accused, along with their co-accused Maaz Muneer Ahmed, were also involved in terror cases earlier,” it added.

NIA further stated that they were able to trace the duo to a lodge in Kolkata with the help of other central agencies and state police departments of Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. 

The Rameshwaram Cafe bomb blast took place on March 1 on the International Technology Park Limited (ITPL) road in the Brookfield area. Nine persons were injured in the incident.

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