Bengaluru: Bengaluru’s The Rameshwaram Cafe – where 10 people were injured last week after a low-intensity explosive, or IED, was detonated during the lunch rush hour – will re-open, “brighter and stronger”, for business Saturday morning, the restaurant’s HR head told NDTV today.

Sridhar Murthy said work on repairing and rebuilding damaged parts of the cafe began immediately after the National Investigation Agency, which has taken over the case, handed over the building.

“The day NIA handed cafe to us, we began our work. We already had several meetings with our Managing Director and maintenance team. Within 48 hours all repair work was carried out,” he said.

Mr Murthy said the cafe – an iconic eatery in Bengaluru’s Brookfield area – would re-open “brighter and stronger” than before. “Our team worked around the clock, even till this morning,” he said, adding, “Fortunately there was no serious damage… and everyone suffered only minor injuries.”

The cafe’s co-owner, Divya Raghavendra Rao, said the opening ‘ceremony’ would include a rendition of the national anthem. “It is our mantra. We have taken all precautions before re-opening,” he said.

According to the administration, metal detectors have been installed at the entrance to screen customers, and staff have also been given handheld detectors. Additional CCTVs have been set up.

Mr Rao also said the cafe is cooperating with the authorities and had surrendered all CCTV footage and other information. “We are thankful to the government for helping us reopen so soon,” he said.

“They wanted to teach us a lesson… but we will teach them a lesson. With blessings of Lord Shiva, we have reopened our cafe on occasion of Mahashivratri,” he said defiantly.

NIA Takes Over Case

The NIA, which took over this case on Monday, has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information about the suspected bomber, who was seen on the cafe’s CCTV footage minutes before the explosion.

Information can be given to the central anti-terror agency via e-mail – info.blr.nia@gov.in – or via one of two phone numbers – 080-29510900 and 8904241100.

READ | Bengaluru Cafe Blast: NIA’s 10 Lakh Bounty For Info About Bomber

Provisions of the stringent anti-terror law – the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act – and the Explosive Substances Act – have been invoked against those responsible.

How The Blast Happened

In the video he is seen wearing a cap, face mask, and sunglasses, and is dressed in dark trousers and a grey shirt. He is first spotted walking to the cafe from a nearby bus stop; he is also carrying a small backpack that contained the IED. The suspect ordered a plate of rava idli and sat in a corner eating.

READ | Bengaluru Blast Suspect Caught On CCTV With Bomb In Bag

“He finished his meal and left, leaving his bag in the corner…” the owner told NDTV.

READ | “Suspect Had Rava Idli”: Bengaluru Cafe Owner To NDTV On Blast

All in all, the suspect spent only nine minutes inside The Rameshwaram Café.

He walked in at 11.34 am and left at 11.43 am, and the blast took place at 12.56 pm.

READ | Idli At 11.38, Blast At 12.56: Timeline Of Bengaluru Cafe Blast

In a heart-warming display of resilience, the cafe also held a small puja for the pillar against which the suspect left his IED-stuffed bag, and religious symbols have been drawn on it.

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