As hunt gets intense, jihadists change hideouts

Representative image. (Getty images)

Even as the hunt for the 17 alleged jihadists continues across the state, including Mehboob Pasha, senior police officials said the suspects are using evasive tactics to stay out of their grasp.

A Central Crime Branch-led joint team consisting of Internal Security Division and Intelligence officers is continuing its efforts to nab 17 suspects booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and various other sections of the IPC in the Suddaguntepalya police station on January 10.

The police are also grilling a man picked up from a madrasa in Gundlupet in Chamarajnagar district, suspected to be part of a group involved in fundamentalist activities, according to a senior official. “His role in the group’s activities is said to be very limited,” he said. “We are just questioning him. If required, he’ll be arrested or released after a detailed inquiry.” 

The official clarified that no arrests have been made so far in the UAPA case. “Special teams are on the job. Once we get someone from the gang, we’d have achieved a major breakthrough,” he said.  

The official noted that the gang has grown cautious after the Tamil Nadu police arrested five people in their state. It is changing its hideouts frequently. Following the banning of the Al-Ummah outfit, the gang started its own activity, besides getting in touch with people having links to the Islamic State (IS).

“Preliminary information suggests that they were trying to recruit members for IS. Once we arrest Pasha, we can put an end to their plans. But Pasha is on the run and the phone numbers he uses are switched off,” the official revealed.

A complaint by CCB police inspector Niranjana Kumar C said Pasha lived in Gurappanapalaya.

Reliable information revealed that he was in touch with some IS members and also with Khwaja Moinuddin alias Jalal, the main accused in the killing of K P S Suresh Kumar alias Pandi Suresh, a leader of a pro-Hindu organisation in Tamil Nadu.

Pasha contacted Moinuddin’s associates Abdul Samad alias Toukir, Sayed Ali Nawaz, Jafar Ali alias Umar, Abdul Shamim and others.

Pasha organised meetings of the fundamentalist module. His associates gathered in his house several times to plan terror activities such as murdering Hindu leaders, creating communal clashes and other anti-national activities.

One of them, Mohammed Mansur, is in constant touch with Sadiq Sameer, a member of the banned outfit SIMI.

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