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BJP Slams Congress After Alleged Links with Mangaluru Terror Blast Emerge

© Photo : ANIMangaluru blast suspect
Mangaluru blast suspect - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.01.2023
With elections in Karnataka state three months away, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress Party have intensified attacks against each other.
The tussle between the ruling BJP and opposition Congress Party escalated in India's Karnataka state on Wednesday after a Congress member was allegedly found to be associated with the main suspect in the November Mangaluru terror blast.

"It is not surprising that a Congress link emerges with the Mangaluru cooker blast terror case (...) Congress leaders have always been sympathetic to the PFI, the now banned radical terror outfit," BJP's IT chief Amit Malviya said on Wednesday.

The BJP's criticism of Congress came after the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the federal economic intelligence and law enforcement agency, conducted searches at multiple locations in connection with the terror probe.

Who Was Behind Mangaluru Blast?

On November 19, an autorickshaw exploded in front of a Mangaluru temple. As per the National Investigative Agency (NIA), the blast occurred as the passenger was carrying a bomb in a pressure cooker. However, the bomb exploded en route to the blast location.
The houses of the main suspect in the case, Mohammed Shariq and his relatives in the Shivamogga district, have recently been raided, where materials used to make bombs like gelatin powder, aluminum multimeters, circuit boards, small bolts, pressure cookers, batteries, and mobile phones were found.
According to local reports, the ED searched a shopping complex allegedly owned by Shariq's father, while reports claim that Congress rented an office there.
A lease agreement between Shariq's father and Congress member Kimmane Rathnakar's niece, Naveen, was allegedly signed last year, with the party accused of having paid INR 1 million ($12,260) as a deposit to the accused's father.
Previously, ED officials inspected Rathnakar's links with Shariq's kin and asked him to submit a copy of the lease agreement.