The three SIMI operatives that were nabbed by the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) on Monday were planning to target BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, according to ATS sources.
In their initial interrogation, the operatives also admitted to having links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban.
At a press meet, ATS inspector general of police Sanjeev Sami did not name Modi but said the men wanted to target an ‘important personality’. They were using the same modus operandi as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Sami added.
Abu Faisal, one of the six SIMI men that broke out of Khandwa Jail on October 1, was among those arrested. The two other operatives, Khalid and Irfan Nagauri, were not part of the jailbreak.
Meanwhile, the MP ATS, working with its counterpart in Maharashtra, arrested two SIMI operatives from Solapur on Tuesday night. Three live bombs, 70 gelatin strips, 100 detonators and explosives were recovered. The arrested have been identified as Sadiq and Umer Hafis, both resident of Solapur.
They were also not part of the prison break.
The MP government has in the past been accused of detaining people without proof.
Five SIMI operatives are still absconding, but information on their possible location have been found in Jharsuguda and Sambalpur district of Odisha.
Sami said that they were planning bank robberies to raise funds, “In coordination with Odisha police, MP ATS has raided three houses in the districts. Though, they were not found, Rs. 75, 000 in cash were recovered. We had got information that they were planning a bank robbery”.
On December 23 a cooperative bank in Jharsuguda district was looted, it was believed that the absconding operatives could be behind the incident.