NIA chargesheets notorious terrorist in Bangalore Church Street Blast Case

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Bangalore: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed a charge sheet in the Bangalore Church Street blast Case before the NIA Special Court, Bangalore. The Coconut Grove Bar and Restaurant  was targeted as some Israeli tourists were to dine there.

The chargesheet has been filed against Alam Zeb Afridi alias Mohammed Rafiq alias Javed s/o Maskur Ahamed, a native of Juhapure in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, who lived in Doddanagamangala, Electronic City Post, Banalore.

NIA officials said that Afridi was allegedly involved in the IED blast that occurred in front of Hotel Coconut Grove Restaurant and Bar, Church Street, Bangalore on 28/12/2014 at 8.30 PM resulting in the death of one woman and injuries to 03 persons. 2.

Afridi has been charged for murder, attempt to murder under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967 and sections 3 & 4 of Explosive Substances Act 1908.

After the blast, the initial investigation of the case was conducted by the Bangalore City Police and later, as per the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, the investigation was taken over by the NIA, Hyderabad branch. The case was clueless initially and after painstaking analysis of large no. of CCTV footages, NIA had released the video footage of the suspect on Youtube, in January this year, soliciting public information.

NIA chargesheet states, “The accused Alam Zeb Afridi was arrested on 22nd Jan, 2016, in Bangalore, and while in custody, he confessed to his involvement in the Church Street Blast case. During investigation, he admitted to his primary role in preparing the IED and placing it near the Coconut Grove Bar and Restaurant, in a bid to target some Israeli tourists who were supposed to dine at the said restaurant that evening”.

NIA officials further said that the accused had also confessed to his involvement in the serial blasts in Ahmedabad in the year 2008. Since then he had absconded from Gujrat and had finally settled in Bangalore as an AC mechanic, almost 5 years back. Having settled in Bangalore, under the assumed false identity of Mohammad Rafiq, he had been involved in committing arson at the Israeli Visa Centre in Bangalore on two occasions – on August 5,2014, and second time on November 29, 2015.

NIA is further investigating the case to identify the online handlers of Alam Zeb Afridi, who had guided him in preparation and placement of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED).