SIMI arrests solve loot cases | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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SIMI arrests solve loot cases

Operation Vijay — the crackdown on the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and the outlawed Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) — has had an unexpected fallout. P Naveen reports.

bhopal Updated: Jun 06, 2011 23:29 IST
P Naveen

Operation Vijay — the crackdown on the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and the outlawed Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) — has had an unexpected fallout. Five bank robberies have been solved by the Madhya Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS).

Eight arrested men have confessed to robbing two banks in Dewas and one each in Itarsi, Jaora and Piplyamandi, said ATS officers. The robberies were meant to raise funds for a regrouping of the IM — recruiting new members, renting new hideouts, holding meetings, training youths and publication of literature, said Vipin Maheshweri, inspector general, ATS.

The ATS had made the arrests on Sunday. Four of the men were arrested from the Habibganj railway station in Bhopal — Abu Faizal, Ikrar, Mehboob and Ezazuddin. Four others were held during a raid in Jabalpur —Shaikh Mujeeb, Aslam, Habeeb and Sajid.

On Monday, a local court remanded Faizal, Ikrar, Mehboob and Ezazuddin in the custody of the ATS till June 17. A team of National Investigating Agency (NIA) will be in Bhopal by Tuesday to interrogate the men in connection with several other cases.

Raids are also being conducted to get evidence of the IM’s regrouping, said ATS officials. The ATS and intelligence agencies in Gujarat, Maharasthra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been alerted.

The Uttar Pradesh ATS has been alerted about the regrouping of SIMI activists on the basis of information collected from one Zakir Hussain, who was arrested near the Rathlam railway station on Friday.

A surveillance of Hussain’s telephonic conversation with operatives of SIMI and the IM revealed that the groups had started holding meetings in Uttar Pradesh and other states. Two diaries recovered from him contained lists of their new recruits, said an intelligence official.