The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) sleuths smoked out the links of five SIMI operatives, who flew the coop in Khandwa on October 1 last year, in Sidhi district of Vindhya region of MP.
And this fact came to light after a blast occurred on September 12 in a house in Bijnor town of UP where all the five fugitives, Aizazuddin alias Aizaz, Sadiq Badrul, Mehboob, Zakeer Hussain and Amzad Ramzan Khan were present making bombs.
They were living in a rented house in Bijnor and remained in touch with an unidentified person whose mobile signals were located in Sidhi.
Initially, after poring over the call details of the mobile phone left by the SIMI operatives at the blast site in Bijnor, the ATS sleuths of UP felt that the person concerned had links in Jabalpur region of MP. But a thorough scrutiny of the call details now suggests that the person, who is believed to have provided financial and other assistance to SIMI operatives, was mostly operating from the Vindhya region of MP.
So, sleuths of UP ATS conveyed this information to their MP counterparts. Sources said MP ATS had earlier detained a suspect from Jabalpur and quizzed him but failed to get any clue to the person they wanted.
After getting information from their UP counterparts, MP ATS has started zeroing in on the Vindhya region, sources further said. A senior official of UP ATS who requested anonymity, told HT, "They were in touch with that person through mobile phone and used to have conversation with him about four to five times in a day. As the mobile number’s location has been traced, we are carrying out a search for the person who was using the number."
The UP ATS is now using drone camera to trace the location of absconding SIMI men, the official said. One of SIMI operatives, Mehboob, sustained serious injuries in the blast and the CCTV footages obtained by investigators from various crossings in Bijnor suggest that has sustained 50% burns.
Seven inmates, including six SIMI operatives, took to their heels from the Khandwa jail on October 1 last year. However, one of them Abu Faizal, chief of MP module of SIMI, fell into the ATS dragnet after two months. The remaining five are still giving the ATS the slip.