Mangaluru Bomb Scare: Police Get 10-day Custody of Engineer Who Allegedly Planted Explosive Near Airport

Aditya Rao

Aditya Rao

Police say that Aditya Rao surrendered in Bengaluru after they released his videos; so far, the investigation has revealed only his involvement.

Revathi Rajeevan
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Bengaluru: The sixth court of the Judicial Magistrate of First Class in Mangaluru on Thursday granted the police 10-day custody of Aditya Rao, accused of allegedly planting a bomb near the Mangaluru airport.

Rao, who surrendered before the Bengaluru Police on Wednesday morning, was produced in court on Thursday after the Mangaluru Police acquired a transit warrant.

Police say that Rao surrendered in Bengaluru after they released his videos; so far, the investigation has revealed only his involvement.

Two cases have been registered against him under Sections 10, 11, and 13 of the Explosive Substances Act and under Section 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). He was produced in court after medical examination, where he was not represented by a lawyer.

Rao, a mechanical engineer and an MBA graduate, allegedly planted the bomb after he was denied a job as a security guard at Bengaluru Airport. A resident of Manipal, the 37-year old had worked at various organisations but never stayed anywhere for too long, said police.

Mangalore Police Commissioner PS Harsha said Rao had worked in banking, insurance and other financial organisations, in Peenya (Bengaluru), as well as in multi-national companies. Rao told police that he had health issues working indoors and then decided to work in his field - mechanical engineering.

"He left that job after three months and joined a multinational company with forged documents. He left this job after two months after he feared they would find out the reality during document verification," said Harsha. "He took up blue-collar jobs after he felt he did not get his due at these earlier white-collar jobs."

The police said that Rao worked as a security personnel in colleges. He also worked in bars and hotels as this would give him free food and accommodation. He later moved to Bengaluru and worked in more than three hotels.

"He came to know about a job opportunity at the Bengaluru Airport that would pay him Rs 25,000. He says the employer had told him he is overqualified, then he says he convinced them about his urgent necessity for job. They asked him for legal affidavits," said Harsha. "He then came back to his native place, where he spent a lot of money to acquire these documents, but the job was given to somebody else by the time he returned. He says he developed a grudge against the airport authorities; this is why he decided to disrupt and put them in trouble."

Rao in 2018 had made two threat calls to the Bengaluru Airport. He had also made similar a threat call to the Central (Majestic) Railway Station in Bengaluru. He was in prison for 11 months and released in the second half of last year.

According to the police, Rao thought of making something big and started making explosives, which he learnt on the internet.

Rao arrived in Mangalore in early December, where he joined work at a bar and restaurant. He sourced various components of the explosive and worked extensively to convert it into a device. Although he was confident of setting it up, he was scared of getting caught. He then moved to Karkala.

After he was convinced that he would be able to assemble the device, he took public transport and arrived in Mangalore city. He then took public transport towards the airport, took the bag with the device in an auto, and placed it in a spot, which he had fixed after conducting a recce. He then left in an auto near the toll booth, also seen in the CCTV footage, and left the city.

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