Four suspected Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives were arrested in Ujjain in a late Tuesday night raid that also threw up one of the biggest haul of explosives in Madhya Pradesh.
More than 12 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 900 gelatin rods and 600 detonators were seized during the raid near Topkhana locality in the temple town, 190 km west of Bhopal, said MP's anti-terrorism squad (ATS) chief Sanjeev Shami.
He identified the arrested four as Javed Nagori, Abdul Aziz, Mohammad Adil and Abdul Wahid. "The interrogation has just begun and I can't share more details."
Shami, an inspector general of police, deflected queries on intended targets.
A police official privy to details of the seizure said the explosives cumulatively were enough to devastate a densely populated town such as Ujjain.
Initial reports that the arrested four were among the six SIMI operatives who had escaped from Khandwa jail on October 1, 2013, proved false.
Abu Faisal, reportedly the chief of the banned outfit's operations in MP, was among the six who made the jailbreak. Faisal was nabbed along with two other suspected SIMI operatives on December 24, 2013, at Sendhawa in Barwani district of MP.
Shami said the hunt for the remaining five escapees was on. The latest arrests came on the basis of information from the SIMI members held recently, he added.
The ATS and the counter-terrorism group (CTG) of the state police also raided Mahidpur in Ujjain district, which is Malwa region of the state.
The SIMI, formed in 1977 in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), had a strong presence in Malwa region even before it was banned in 2001. The outfit is suspected to be involved in terrorist activities.
Many leaders of the SIMI, including its former chief Safdar Nagori, hail from Ujjain. Safdar Nagori is lodged in Ahmedabad jail.