BENGALURU: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet in connection with the Church Street blast before the NIA Special Court in the city on Monday.
The chargesheet named Alam Zeb Afridi as the accused and mentioned that the investigation were still on to identify his online handlers, who had guided him in preparation and placement of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) before a well-known restaurant on the busy street.
The NIA officials had arrested Afridi alias Mohammed Rafiq alias Javed from his house in Doddanagamangala near Parappana Agrahara on January 22. Six months after his arrest, he was charged with Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the IPC, and other sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
While in NIA custody, the accused confessed to his involvement in the Church Street blast and had admitted to his primary role in preparing the IED and placing it near the Coconut Grove Bar and Restaurant on December 28, 2014, in a bid to target some Israeli tourists who were expected to dine at the restaurant that evening. The blast resulted in the death of a woman and injuries to three people.
Further, he also confessed to his involvement in the serial blasts in Ahmedabad in 2008. After that, Afridi, who hails from New Ashiyana Colony of Juhapura in Ahmedabad, had escaped from Gujarat and settled in Bengaluru as an AC mechanic for almost five years. He changed his identity and called himself Mohammad Rafiq. He was also involved in the arson incident at the Israeli Visa Centre in the city twice – on August 5, 2014 and November 29, 2015.
The initial probe was conducted by the city police and following orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the case was handed over to the NIA Hyderabad branch. Initially, the case was without leads and the NIA had released a video footage of the suspect in January this year after analysing a large number of CCTV footage, seeking information from the public....