Mangaluru auto blast suspect Shariq’s house raided; he was previously booked under UAPA

News Network
November 20, 2022

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Mangaluru/ Mysuru, Nov 20: The Karnataka police today conducted searches at the house of a youth who suffered severe injuries in a blast in a moving auto rickshaw in Mangaluru last night. The injured, who is also the prime suspect in the blast case, was reportedly staying in Mysuru. 

According to the police, the accused took the one-room accommodation on rent last month. He had told the house owner that he was in the city for "mobile repair training".

Preliminary investigation indicates Mohammed Shariq, 24, hailing from Teerthahalli he has terror links. He had previously been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for graffiti on walls in Mangaluru. He was out on bail in the case. He was also absconding in a terror case and was wanted by the police.

Police have verified his photos in their records and his family has also identified the injured person in the hospital as Mohammed Shariq, via a phone, and are on their way to the hospital, a senior police official said.

Shivamogga stabbing case

Probing a stabbing incident in Shivamogga around Independence Day over putting up a photo of V. D. Savarkar, Shivamogga Rural Police had busted an alleged terror module with alleged links to Islamic State. Police had arrested Maaz Muneer Ahmed, 22 and Syed Yasin, 21 and recovered explosive materials from the duo.

Investigations had uncovered that they were radicalised by Mohammed Shariq and they had learnt making bombs through PDF files, videos and several materials sent to them by Shariq. The duo had prepared an IED and tested it successfully on the banks of Tungabhadra, police had alleged. However, Shariq had fled from his residence and had been absconding till date. 

Mohammed Shariq and Maaz Ahmed were earlier arrested by Mangaluru City Police in 2020 over graffiti they wrote on the walls of two buildings in the coastal city, in support of Lashakr-e-Taiba and Taliban, and were later released on bail. Maaz Ahmed was again busted in the terror module case in Sepetmber 2022, even as Shariq the prime accused in the case was at large. 

Links to Al Hind IS module

Mohammed Shariq is said to be associated with Matheen Ahmed Taha, also hailing from Shivamogga and a member of Al Hind IS module, active in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Bengaluru-based Al Hind IS module was allegedly put together by Mehboob Pasha, a resident of Gurappana Palya, Bengaluru and Khaja Moideen, a resident of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, accused in several murder cases of Hindutva leaders in the neighbouring state.

The module was busted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020 and chargesheets filed in 2021, alleging the group wanted to establish an IS province inside the jungles of South India. However, Matheen Ahmed Taha, a prominent member of this group, is still at large and Mohammed Shariq is suspected to be his associate.

The blast occurred on Saturday evening inside an autorickshaw, near a police station, leaving the passenger and the driver injured. Both have been admitted to the hospital. The police said inside the vehicle, they found a burnt pressure cooker fitted with batteries, which Shareeq was apparently carrying. The pressure cooker, the police said, was a low-intensity Improvised Explosive device or IED.

‘Not well enough to give a statement’

This morning, the police confirmed that it was "an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage". The Karnataka police are investigating it along with central agencies.

The police said Shareeq is not well enough to give a statement. The auto driver, who was also injured, is in the hospital.

Shareeq was also carrying an Aadhaar card which did not belong to him, the police said. The owner of the card has been located. Premraj Hutagi, a resident of Karnataka's Hubballi district, has said he had lost the card and had acquired a duplicate.

Citing the "stolen" Aadhaar card, the police said it gives them a "fair idea that he was planning to target something, but we don't know what". "We are not ruling out his having a connection with the recent Coimbatore blast," said state police chief Praveen Sood. 

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News Network
November 23,2022

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Mangaluru, Nov 23: The decision on handing over Mangaluru autorickshaw blast case to the National Investigation Agency will be taken within two days, according to Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra.

Speaking to media persons after chairing a review meeting in Mangaluru, the Minister said that the NIA and other central agencies have been working with the Karnataka police in connection with the Mangaluru blast from day one.

On the demand for setting up an NIA office in Mangaluru, the Minister said it has been brought to the notice of the central government and the centre is positive on it.

DGP Praveen Sood said that any case that is registered under UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) Act is brought to the notice of the NIA and details are shared to them. “The Karnataka police sent all the information to the NIA on Tuesday through the Home Ministry. The case will be handed over to the NIA at an appropriate time.”

Earlier the minister visited the site where a blast occurred in a moving auto rickshaw at Nagori in Mangaluru and later visited the private hospital where accused Mohammed Shariq and auto driver Purushotham are undergoing treatment. 

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News Network
November 14,2022

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Bengaluru, Nov 14: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday defended the government's move to paint the thousands of school classrooms to be constructed under the newly launched 'Viveka' scheme with saffron colour.

Under the 'Viveka' scheme named after Swami Vivekananda, the Karnataka government has proposed construction of 7,601 classrooms across the state.

Bommai launched the scheme on Children's Day by laying the foundation stone in Government Higher Primary School at Madiyal in Kalaburagi district.

Asked to comment about the move of colour coding such classrooms with saffron that has sparked controversy, the CM said: "What's wrong to have saffron colour? There's saffron colour in the (national) tricolour. Swami Vivekananda himself used to wear saffron robe".

"They (Congress) aren't interested in comprehensive development of education," Bommai charged. He said there is a tendency to create controversy on any progressive changes made. "Naming schools after Swami Vivekananda will help children draw inspiration from him and a good atmosphere will be created in schools," the CM opined.

School Education Minister B C Nagesh said if architects recommend to the government that saffron colour looks good on such classrooms, it will be done. "We have left the decision to architects. The government does not decide on what kind of paint, window, door and steps (are to be done). We will take a decision on what they (architects) say," Nagesh said.

"Some people have allergy towards (saffron) colour," he said. Taking a dig at the Congress, the minister said: "I want to ask them, there is saffron colour in their (party) flag. Why did you keep it? Remove it," Nagesh said. 

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News Network
November 15,2022

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As the world population touched 8 billion on Tuesday, India was the largest contributor to the milestone, having added 177 million people, while China, whose contribution to the next billion in the global population is projected to be in the negative, the UN said.

India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by next year.

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), in a special graphic to mark the global population reaching eight billion, said Asia and Africa has driven much of this growth is expected to drive the next billion by 2037, while Europe's contribution will be negative due to declining population.

The world added a billion people in the last 12 years. UNFPA said that as the world adds the next billion to its tally of inhabitants, China’s contribution will be negative.

"India, the largest contributor to the 8 billion (177 million) will surpass China, which was the second largest contributor (73 million) and whose contribution to the next billion will be negative, as the world's most populous nation by 2023,” UNFPA said.

The UN said that it took about 12 years for the world population to grow from 7 to 8 billion, but the next billion is expected to take about 14.5 years (2037), reflecting the slowdown in global growth.

World population is projected to reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and is expected to remain at that level until 2100.

For the increase from 7 to 8 billion, around 70 per cent of the added population was in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

For the increase from 8 to 9 billion, these two groups of countries are expected to account for more than 90 per cent of global growth, the UN said.

Between now and 2050, the global increase in the population under the age 65 will occur entirely in low income and lower-middle-income countries, since population growth in high-income and upper-middle income countries will occur only among those aged 65 or more, it said.

The World Population Prospects 2022, released in July this year said that India’s population stands at 1.412 billion in 2022, compared with China’s 1.426 billion.

India is projected to have a population of 1.668 billion in 2050, ahead of China’s 1.317 billion people by the middle of the century.

According to UNFPA estimates, 68 per cent of India’s population is between 15-64 years old in 2022, while people aged 65 and older were seven per cent of the population.

The report had said that the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under 1 per cent in 2020.

The world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050.

China is expected to experience an absolute decline in its population as early as 2023, the report had said.

At the launch of the report in July, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin had said that countries where population growth has slowed must prepare for an increasing proportion of older persons and, in more extreme cases, a decreasing population size.

“China provides a clear example. With the rapid ageing of its population due to the combined effects of very low fertility and increasing life expectancy, growth of China’s total population is slowing down, a trend that is likely to continue in the coming decades," Liu said.

The WHO pointed out that China has one of the fastest growing ageing populations in the world.

“The population of people over 60 years in China is projected to reach 28 per cent by 2040, due to longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates," the WHO said.

In China, by 2019, there were 254 million older people aged 60 and over, and 176 million older people aged 65 and over.

In 2022, the two most populous regions were both in Asia: Eastern and South-Eastern Asia with 2.3 billion people (29 per cent of the global population) and Central and Southern Asia with 2.1 billion (26 per cent).

China and India, with more than 1.4 billion each, accounted for most of the population in these two regions.

More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the increase anticipated through 2050, the report added. 

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