Mangaluru, Jan 24, 2020:The police have so far not got any evidence to prove the involvement of any other person apart from Aditya Rao (37), who is in custody after surrendering, in placing an explosive at the Mangaluru International Airport on January 20.
The city police produced the accused in the 6th Judicial Magistrate First Class Court on Thursday and secured his custody for 10 days. Aditya has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Explosive Substances Act. Another case under Section 506 and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code has been registered for making a hoax call to the Mangaluru International Airport terminal manager on the same day.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner P.S. Harsha told presspersons on Thursday that it appeared like the handiwork of Aditya alone. The accused has told the police that he did it because he “wanted to achieve something bigger than merely making hoax calls”, the Commissioner said, and added that he learnt the “art of making improvised explosive” device from the Internet.
He had acted on his own while making hoax calls to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna railway station in Bengaluru in 2018, for which he was convicted and sentenced. “Soon after his release in the second half of 2019, he thought of doing something bigger than merely making hoax calls and moved to Mangaluru where he engaged himself in making improvised explosive device,” the Commissioner said.
A mechanical engineering and MBA (Marketing and Operations) degree holder, he made use of his technical knowledge and collected information on making of improvised explosive device from the Internet. Instead of directly purchasing the materials for preparing it, he got them from e-commerce platforms.
After making the explosive device using a timer, explosive substance, and detonator on January 19 in a room of King’s Court Hotel in Karkala, where he worked for some days, Aditya discreetly brought it to Mangaluru International Airport the next day and placed it near a flight ticket counter, said Dr. Harsha. The way Aditya could operate, Dr. Harsha said, is a matter of concern for the internal security of the country. “We are going deep into it. We will get finer details of his operations and file the charge sheet,” he said.
FSL, NSG to analyse material used
Apart from the Forensic Science Laboratory, the Mangaluru police are using the expertise of the Central agency — the National Security Guard (NSG) — to analyse the explosive device planted by Aditya, said Dr. Harsha. Dr. Harsha told reporters that the police cannot speculate whether Aditya placed the device to create a threat or cause explosion. “He has used technology in a major way to assemble a sound improvised explosive device with a timer and detonator,” he said. Remnants of the explosive device, after it was defused by controlled explosion, had been sent to the FSL, he said.
The decision to go for controlled explosion of the IED on January 20, Dr. Harsha said, was taken by the Western Range-level Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad of the State police. “Our duty was to cordon off the area. The BDDS team assessed the device and decided the course of action,” he said.
‘He had recced the airport 4 times’
Aditya had recced Mangaluru airport four times before planting the improvised explosive device on January 20, according to Dr. Harsha.
Dr. Harsha said that following some preliminary tests, Aditya completed assembling the explosive device by sitting in a room of a hotel in Karkala on January 19. He had moved to the hotel after having worked for nearly a month in a bar and restaurant in Mangaluru.
On January 20, he reached the airport from Karkala by taking two buses and then an autorickshaw and placed the bag with the device near a ticket counter.
Dr. Harsha said Aditya then proceeded to Sirsi and then to Shivamogga where he spent some time. “He got apprehensive about his arrest and took a KSRTC bus to Bengaluru where he surrendered at the office of the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police on Wednesday morning,” the Police Commissioner said.
Courtesy: The hindu