NIA files chargesheet in Bangalore Church Street blast case

Bangalore, July 25 : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed a charge-sheet before an NIA Special Court against Alam Zeb Afridi, alias Mohammed Rafiq, alias Javed, for his involvement in the Bangalore Church Street blast in front of Hotel Coconut Grove Restaurant and Bar at 8.30 p.m.

on December 28, 2014, claiming the life of a woman while leaving three injured. Afridi, who was arrested on January 22 in Bangalore, has been charged by the NIA with the commission of offences punishable under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Explosive Substances Act.

"During investigation, he admitted to his primary role in preparing the IED and placing it near Coconut Grove Bar and Restaurant in a bid to target some Israeli tourists, who were supposed to dine at the restaurant that evening," said NIA.

According to an NIA statement, Afridi, a permanent resident of New Ashiyana Colony in Juhapura, Ahmedabad, had also confessed to his involvement in the serial blasts in Ahmedabad in the year 2008.

Since then he had been absconding from Gujarat and had finally settled in Bangalore as an AC mechanic, almost five 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 05 2014 and November 29, 2015, said NIA.

NIA said the initial investigation of the case was conducted by the Bangalore City Police and later, as per the orders of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the investigation was taken over by the NIA Hyderabad branch.

The case was clueless initially, said NIA, and after painstaking analysis of large number of CCTV footages, the agency released the video footage of the suspect on YouTube in January, soliciting public information.

NIA said further investigation is being continued by the agency in the case to identify the online handlers of Afridi, who had guided him in preparation and placement of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED).