Suspect in Mangaluru airport bomb case turns himself in

Darshan Devaiah BP
Prime suspect in Mangaluru airport bomb case turns himself in

A bomb disposal squad member carries the suspicious bag, allegedly containing an IED component, for defusal, after it was found at the airport in Mangaluru, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Two days after an unattended bag with explosive material was discovered at the Mangaluru international airport, the suspect, a 36-year-old mentally disturbed man with a history of perpetrating bomb hoaxes, surrendered at a police station in Bengaluru Wednesday. Aditya Rao, a native of Manipal in Udupi district, was taken to Halasuru Gate Police station for questioning.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru Central Division) Chetan Singh Rathore told reporters, "Aditya Rao surrendered before the police this morning claiming to be responsible for the Mangalore airport bomb incident. He was medically examined at the St Martha's hospital and will now be handed over to the Mangaluru police team for further investigation."

The Mangaluru police is expected to fly into Bengaluru today to question the suspect. "Mangaluru city police investigation team is flying into Bengaluru shortly to investigate the developments in connection with MIA case. The team will question the suspect and initiate further necessary legal action," Mangaluru City Police Commissioner P S Harsha tweeted.

Rao had been named as the prime suspect in the case by officials on Tuesday. Police sources said the description of the man seen in CCTV footage at the airport and the caller who made a bomb threat on the same day call resembled Rao.

CCTV footage showed a man in a baseball cap, a white shirt and dark pants, who abandoned the bag at the airport and left in an auto-rickshaw.

Suspect in Mangaluru airport bomb case turns himself in

Aditya Rao is a native of Manipal in Udupi district. (ANI Photo)

“The incident in the Mangaluru airport does not appear to be a serious one. A mentally deranged man who has a history of making calls to airports has been identified by the local police. The local police are confident he was the one who planted the bag at the airport,” a police official told The Indian Express.

According to preliminary information, Rao is an engineering who holds a MBA degree, He has worked multiple jobs ranging from sales at insurance firms to restaurants. He was arrested by the Bengaluru Police on August 29, 2018 for making hoax calls to the Bengaluru airport and railway station. He was also accused of stealing laptops in 2018.

Adept at using the Internet, police officials are investigating whether he learnt how to assemble the crude explosive online.