At least 10 people were injured on March 1 in a low-intensity blast triggered by an improvised explosive device at Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru’s Brookfield area. The Bengaluru police filed a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substance Act and identified a suspect from the CCTV footage available. The Union ministry of home affairs subsequently handed over the investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Premium subscribed X (formerly Twitter) handle Izlamic Terrorist (@raviagrawal3) posted on March 5 that the NIA had arrested an ‘Islamist terrorist’ named Abdul Salim, who is also a PFI member, in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case. The tweet carried an image of a man in a skullcap. The tweet has received over 4.5 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 3,700 times. (Archive)

Readers should also note that the above handle has been found sharing and amplifying misinformation several times in the past.

Multiple other users on X and Facebook shared the same man’s image with a similar caption and amplified the claim that the accused in the Bengaluru cafe blast case was one Abdul Salim. Some spelt the name as Abdul Saleem.

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Media outlets such as M9 and propaganda outlets Organiser and HinduPost published reports claiming the same.

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Fact Check

We ran a relevant keyword search on Google and found several reports related to Abdul Salim’s arrest. As per a report by The Hindu, Abdul Salim had been arrested in connection to the Nizamabad PFI case.


The Nizamabad PFI case refers to the investigation led by the NIA against the banned outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), and individuals affiliated with it. In December 2022, the NIA filed a chargesheet against 11 accused in the Nizamabad PFI case. In the chargesheet, Abdul Saleem was charged under sections 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy), 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of IPC and sections 17, 18, 18A & 18B of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UA(P) Act.

The chargesheet also mentioned that the NIA’s investigation had revealed that “accused persons were radicalizing gullible Muslim youth and recruiting them into the PFI through speeches filled with hatred and venom against the government of India as well as other organisations and individuals.”

We found another news report by ETV Bharat which carried the same image of Abdul Saleem that social media users were sharing after the Bengaluru blast. The report mentioned the same details as report in The Hindu and has no mention of the individual being connected to the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case.

As for the Bengaluru cafe blast case, we found a tweet posted by the official X account of the police commissioner of Bengaluru on March 2 wherein it was mentioned that no arrests had yet been made in the case.

A report in The Times of India dated March 3 said there was no breakthrough yet in the case, though the alleged bomber’s image was sourced from CCTV footage.

Hence, the claim that Abdul Salim has been arrested by the NIA in relation to the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case in Bengaluru is false. He was an accused in the Nizamabad PFI case and was arrested in connection to the same. His arrest is unrelated to the Bengaluru cafe bomb blast case.

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