Rameshwaram Café blast: NIA offers Rs 10 lakh reward each on two accused

Agency shares photographs, identifies men's/boys' hostels, PG/ shared accommodation/ low-budget hotels, lodges as preferred places of stay

Rameshwaram Café after the explosion on 1 March (photo: National Herald archives)
Rameshwaram Café after the explosion on 1 March (photo: National Herald archives)


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for sharing information leading to the arrest of two key accused, one of them apparently using 'Hindu names' to hide his identity, in Bengaluru's Rameshwaram Café blast case.

The agency requested the general public for information on the duo — Mussavir Hussain Shazib alias Shazeb alias Md Juned Hussain alias Mohammed Juned Sayed and Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa alias Abdul Matheen Taha alias Matheen alias Taha alias Vignesh D alias Sumit "or any other assumed Hindu name" — wanted in the case, according to its posts on X.

Taha, aged about 30, has been using identity documents and a forged Aadhaar card in the name of Vignesh or other similar forged documents to conceal his identity, the NIA said.

The agency shared the two men's photographs and identified men's/boys' hostels, PG/ shared accommodation/ low-budget hotels and lodges as their preferred places of stay.

The NIA said Shazib, also aged 30, prefers to wear "jeans, T-shirt and shirt" and "black smart watch". Both Shazib and Taha often wear "mask, wig and fake beards", it said.

Whoever provides any information leading to the arrest of the accused shall be given Rs 10 lakh as reward, the NIA said in identical public notices on each of the accused, shared on X.

Details regarding the accused can be shared via email to info.blr.nia@gov.in or phone numbers (080) 2951 0900 and (91) 89042 41100, besides the NIA office in Bengaluru. "The identity of (the) informer will be kept secret," the agency said.

In a major breakthrough, the NIA on Wednesday arrested Muzammil Shareef, the alleged key conspirator behind the blast.

NIA investigations have revealed that Shareef had extended logistics support to the other two accused, involving an IED explosion at the café on ITPL Road, Brookefield, Bengaluru, on 1 March. Several customers and staff members were injured, some of them seriously, in the blast, which also caused extensive damage to the property.

Shareef was picked up on Wednesday and placed in custody as a co-conspirator after NIA teams cracked down at 18 locations, including 12 in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu, and one in Uttar Pradesh. The NIA took over the probe on 3 March.

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