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B'luru café blast: BJP says Bengal 'safe haven for terrorists', Mamata hits back

Last updated on: April 12, 2024 19:54 IST

The arrest of two accused in the Bengaluru cafe blast case from West Bengal on Friday kept the state's political pot boiling ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, with the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party claiming that the Trinamool Congress regime has turned the state into a safe haven for terrorists.

IMAGE: West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee uring a special prayer program on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, at Red Road in Kolkata on April 12, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

The BJP's remark drew a riposte from the TMC and West Bengal Police, which pointed out that the NIA arrested the accused with the help of the state police.

The NIA on Friday arrested the two accused, including the mastermind, in Bengaluru's Rameshwaram Cafe blast case, officials said.

Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa were traced to their hideout near Kolkata and apprehended by an NIA team, they said.


Later in the day, a city court granted a three-day transit remand of the two accused to the NIA.

"NIA detains two chief suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast, bomber Mussavir Hussain Shazib and accomplice Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, from Kolkata. Both likely belong to ISIS cell in Shivamogga, Karnataka. West Bengal, unfortunately, under Mamata Banerjee, has become a safe haven for terrorists," Amit Malviya, co-incharge of BJP in West Bengal, posted on X.

Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said due to the appeasement politics of the TMC government, the state has turned into a "link" of various terror activities across the country over the last few years.

"The appeasement politics of the TMC is the reason behind the growing instances of terror modules finding a foothold in the state. The state government cannot evade responsibility," he said.

Senior BJP leader Dilip Ghosh said under the TMC regime, West Bengal is sitting on a ticking time bomb and expressed concern over a deep-rooted nexus of terror modules in the state.

"If these terrorists were hiding here for the last few days, then it is quite evident that they have support cells working here. The state police were sleeping all these days, it is only after NIA provided the tipoff they acted," he said.

Leading TMC's charge, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the accused in the Bengaluru blast case were arrested because of the state police's prompt action.

"Heard one BJP leader saying that Bengal is not safe. The accused were arrested within two hours following a prompt response by police. What about the states where you are in power?" she said at a rally in Cooch Behar.

"What about Uttar Pradesh Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, and Bihar?" she asked.

Banerjee blamed the BJP for spreading canards against the state.

Reacting to Malviya's post, TMC leader Kunal Ghosh claimed that the accused were arrested by the NIA with the help of West Bengal police.

"Well done @WBPolice in connection with the Bengaluru-cafe blast arrest. Even @NIA_India has acknowledged it in their statements. Any anti-forces should be strictly dealt with. But let me ask to @BJP4India and their minions -- where is this arrest made from? KANTHI. We all know which family and BJP's main leader runs illegal activities from Contai," he posted on X.

Kanthi or Contai is known as a stronghold of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and his family.

Ghosh requested the state agencies to investigate the "family's alleged role in the incident."

The West Bengal police also termed BJP's claims as false.

"WEST BENGAL POLICE EXPOSES LIES OF BJP & THEIR CHEAP TROLLS. Falsehood at its worst! Contrary to the claims made by @amitmalviya, the fact is that two suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case have been arrested from Purba Medinipur in a JOINT operation by the West Bengal Police and the Central Intelligence Agencies. The proactive role of WBP in the matter has been officially acknowledged by the Central Agencies," the West Bengal police said.

The police said the state has never been a haven for terrorists and it will continue to remain ever-vigilant in keeping its people safe from nefarious activities.
Medical tests of the two Bengaluru cafe blast case accused were conducted at a state-run hospital before their production at a metropolitan.

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