Police sources said Shariq (25), who was on the run after a row erupted over the display of Savarkar portrait in Shivamogga in August, is said to have spent some time in Udupi in the first 10 days of October as he was trying to stay off the police radar.
Police said they have collected information about Shariq visiting Car Street where an aged woman borrowed his cellphone to call her grandson. Sources said the woman had been seeking help from people around the town to get in touch with her kin over telephone.
On November 19, Shariq hailed an autorickshaw in Mangaluru driven by one Purushotham K and boarded the three-wheeler allegedly carrying a pressure cooker. Once he was on board, the cooker suddenly exploded, leaving Shariq and Purushotham injured. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is now investigating the Mangaluru blast case.
Mangaluru City police commissioner N Shashi Kumar said that Purushotham is recovering and Shariq’s treatment is going on. “We cannot question the suspect until he is declared medically fit. We have ensured round-the-clock security at the hospital where he is being treated,” he said, adding that only relatives were allowed to see Shariq as part of an identification exercise.
On Islamic Resistance Council’s claim that it is behind the blast, he said that a case has been lodged.