Madras HC asks Shobha Karandlaje basis for linking TN with Rameshwaram cafe blast

An IED explosion rocked the Rameshwaram cafe on ITPL Road, Brookefield, Bengaluru, on March 1, injuring about 10 people

CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Wednesday questioned the basis on which Union minister MP Shobha Karandlaje made the statement that the bombers in Bengaluru’s Rameshwararm Cafe blast on March 1 had been trained in Tamil Nadu before even the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches in Chennai.

Shobha Karandlaje was inducted as a minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises and labour & employment (X/ShobhaBJP)

“You (Karandlaje) made the statement even before the NIA held searches in Chennai,” a bench of justice G Jayachandran observed during Wednesday’s hearing on a petition filed by Karandlaje to seek cancellation of a hate speech case registered against her. The bench did not grant any interim relief to the petitioner and adjourned the case to July 12.

“It means you are aware of the facts, you know who the trained persons are, who trained them, and what they have done. If you have some information about the offence, you should have disclosed it to the police. As a responsible citizen, the minister has not done it,” justice Jayachandran added, according to legal website Bar and Bench.

Tamil Nadu’s Madurai cyber crime police registered the case against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP on March 20 following a complaint that accused the Lok Sabha member from Karnataka’s Bangalore North seat of promoting enmity between different groups.

“People from Tamil Nadu come here, get trained there, and plant bombs here. They placed a bomb in the cafe,” Karandlaje said, according to a widely circulated video clip of her statement that provoked outrage.

Karandlaje later apologised for the statement.

she said, alleging that the bomber was trained in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri forests under Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin’s nose.

In her petition, Karandlaje’s lawyer R Hariprasad argued that she intended to raise concerns about internal security and that her statement did not pit Kannadigas against Tamils. Lawyer KMD Muhilan, who appeared for the Tamil Nadu government, contested this interpretation of her remarks.

NIA made the first arrests in the bombing on April 12 when two men, Mussavir Hussain Shazib (30), the man who allegedly planted the bomb, and Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, the man that allegedly masterminded the explosion from a hotel in the West Bengal’s New Digha, were arrested.

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