Five Simi members arrested in Odisha

Five Simi members arrested in Odisha

They were in Rourkela for last five to six months

Five Simi members arrested in Odisha

Five members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi) involved in several terror and other criminal activities in different parts of the country were arrested in Rourkela early on Wednesday.

The three-hour-long joint operation, which involved a gun battle, was executed by teams from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as well as the Odisha Police and the Telangana Police. 

The Simi members, including a woman, were in the NIA most-wanted list and were carrying a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh each.

“We have managed to nab five Simi members from Rourkela. Four of them are men. It was a multi-agency operation. They were involved in several terror and other criminal cases in different states, including bomb blast, murder of policemen, jail break and bank robbery. They were wanted by the NIA,” said K B Singh, Odisha DGP.

The arrested are: Mehboob Khan, Zakir Khan, Amjad Khan, Saqil and Najma Bibi. All are from the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. Three of them had escaped from a prison in Khandwa during a jail break in 2013. 

Bibi (50) is the mother of one of the arrested men. Three pistols, bullets, fake documents, a car and a motorcycle have been seized.  “While staying in Rourkela, they had managed to procure fake bank documents and PAN cards with the help of a local man, an insurance agent. They were in the process of procuring fake passports,” said Singh.

The DGP said, the arrested SIMI members had hideouts at several places across the country. They have been staying in an one room rented accommodation in Rourkela for the last five to six months with a fake identity. 

“We have been keeping a close watch on them for last several days following intelligence inputs,” Singh added.

Involved in blastThe arrested were involved in a bomb blast at a temple in Pune and a bank robbery in Telangana. 

“They were using Rourkela as shelter. But we suspect they were also involved in a bank robbery case in Sundergarh district last year,” the DGP said, adding that preliminary interrogation revealed that they had plans to rob a bank in Chhattisgarh as they were in urgent need of money. 

In November, an al-Qaeda member was nabbed from a village in Cuttack district.