• Saturday, April 20, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Blast at Bengaluru cafe: 9 injured; explosive device used, suspect investigators

Siddaramaiah, the chief minister of Karnataka of which Bengaluru is the capital, said a suspicious person was seen coming with a small bag to the eatery which exploded.

Rameshwaram Cafe in the Indian city of Bengaluru where a fire broke out after a suspected cylinder explosion, on Friday, March 1, 2024. (PTI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

SIDDARAMAIAH, chief minister of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, on Friday (1) said the police suspect an improvised explosive device (IED) was used to set off an explosion at a popular cafe in Bengaluru, the state’s capital, earlier in the day.

He said a suspicious person was seen coming with a small bag and he went to the cashier at the eatery and took a token for the food. The bag exploded.

At least nine people were injured in the blast that happened at Rameshwaram Cafe at Brookefield area of India’s IT capital. The injured were shifted to hospital for treatment.

Deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar assured people that they need not worry and that an investigation was underway. He said the police were trying to understand the motive behind the blast.

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He said the investigating officers were also looking into footage acquired from nearby CCTV cameras.

The explosion took place during the lunch hour when office-goers from surrounding areas lined up at the cafe for food. According to eyewitnesses, around 35-40 people were present in the cafe when the explosion happened. A plume of black smoke was seen first, followed by a loud blast from the direction of the eatery’s kitchen.

Divya Raghavendra Rao, co-founder and managing director of Rameshwaram Cafe, told the media that the blast happened twice within 10 seconds.

“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 was quoted as saying by The News Minute.

Officials of bomb squads and forensic teams were sent to investigate the site. Inflammable materials were removed from the cafe’s kitchen. Fire and forensic officials reached the spot first for a detailed investigation.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to pounce on the incident to target the Siddaramaiah government.

Tejasvi Surya, a BJP parliamentarian from Bangalore South constituency, wrote on X, “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 well-known for their dosas, a south Indian recipe. With several branches across the city, the eatery runs daily between 6.30 am and 1 am. Recently, Indian actor Kartik Aaryan visited the cafe.

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