Little-known outfit Islamic Resistance Council (IRC) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast on November 19. In a letter received by the Intelligence department, the IRC said that the accused Mohammed Shariq "attempted to attack the Hindutva Temple in Kadri, a bastion of the Saffron terrorists in Mangalore." The Karnataka police is verifying the source of information.
The letter also carries a threat to senior police officer Alok Kumar, NDTV reported.
"It is not clear where the letter came from. The name of this organisation came to the fore for the first time. We are investigating if the letter is even authentic," a source was quoted by NDTV.
What does the letter say?
The letter says that the explosion in a moving autorickshaw in Mangaluru was part of a plot to target the Manjunath temple in the city. It goes on to justify the attack and reads "We are only retaliating because an open war has been declared upon us, because mob lynching has become a norm, because oppressive laws and legislations are passed to suppress us and interfere in our religion, because our innocents are languishing in prisons, because public spaces today reverberate with calls of our genocide, and because as Muslims we have been commanded to wage jihad when faced with mischief and oppression."
The letter is written in English and has a photo of Shariq, who has been arrested and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
What does the police say?
The police is still verifying the credibility of the claims in the letter. The blast in Mangaluru follows a similar blast in Tamil Nadu in October, which was also handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for probe.
In this regard, Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood told NDTV, "We are not ruling out his having a connection with the recent Coimbatore blast."
"He (Shariq) had recently travelled to Coimbatore and parts of Tamil Nadu," Sood added.
What happened on November 19?
A moving autorickshaw exploded in Karnataka's Mangaluru on Saturday evening, leaving its passenger and driver injured. PTI reported that CCTV visuals from the location shared by police showed the autorickshaw catching fire following what appeared to be a minor explosion.
The following day, Sood described the explosion as an "act of terror with intention to cause serious damage." Subsequently a raid was conducted on Shariq's house in Mysuru, where police found materials that go into making a bomb.
Kumar, on Monday, also said that Shariq was "influenced and inspired" by a (terrorist) organisation with global presence. The police also revealed that Shariq initially tried to pose as a Hindu to conceal his identity. He was allegedly using a SIM card on documents of a Hindu and was participating in Hindu festivals to appear as one.