SIMI behind Bengaluru Blast?

Bengaluru, Dec 30: The role of Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has come under scanner in the Bengaluru blast that killed a woman and injured five others. The investigators suspected that the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was likely to be planted by the banned Muslim outfit.

The funding to the terrorist activities of the SIMI is being linked to Bank Alfalah Limited, Karachi. The bank located in the defence housing area is Pakistan's sixth largest bank. As per the IB, an important module of the SIMI and IM is operating in Karachi and they are now associated with Al-Qaeda.

This has come to light after the confessions made by the arrested SIMI linked terrorist Umar Siddqui, who has revealed that an account in the name of Zair Ali Khan close to these terrorist groups is operating from the Alfala Bank.

Police might have found some clues that could indicate the SIMI was behind the blast, though it was low intensity, but could not be ignored at all. The NIA team is assisting the city police after the IED triggered explosion outside a restaurant in the IT Hub during the New Year season. The police teams have been sent to Chennai and Pune where the bomb blasts had occurred in the past.

On the other hand, Police announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for providing information about the person who planted the bomb outside the restaurant in central business district. Yesterday, the Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju also raised his suspicion on the SIMI saying, "There is a possibility on whether men - said to be members of the Students Islamic Movement of India -could have been involved in the blast that is being probed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and city police from all angles."

He termed it was a "terror attack" and said the investigators will find out soon who was behind the attack and how the bomb was planted to bring back terror to the country's IT hub for the fifth time in nearly a decade.

The state government is monitoring the situation. After taking stock of the security situation at a high-level meeting, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, "all angles" were being looked into the blast, which the Centre viewed as a "terror attack".

"As you are aware, recently a few people belonging to SIMI had escaped from a jail in Madhya Pradesh and we have information that they had visited Karnataka, so police is looking at that angle also," Siddaramaiah told reporters.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who held a high-level meeting in New Delhi yesterday, said the idea about the nature of the blast and who could be behind it could be ascertained only after a proper probe while assuring that Centre would provide all possible help to Karnataka.

"If necessary, we will hand over the investigation to the NIA," he said.

The blast killed the 38-year-old visitor from Chennai, Bhavani as she was struck by shrapnel from the IED placed in a potted plant along the compound wall of the restaurant on Church Street on Sunday night and succumbed to injuries shortly thereafter at a hospital.

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