NOTWITHSTANDING SENSATIONALISM in a section of the media , the Madhya Pradesh police have not found any lead to link the State with the Mumbai bomb blasts so far. The two sensational leads-emails from Bhopal and Indore - that allegedly linked MP with the blasts have turned out to be false.
An earlier report about MP connection with the youth who was caught at the Sahar International Airport in burqa also turned out to be false.
According to ADGP ( Intelligence) S K Raut the youth who was caught at the airport is not the same Ilyas the Khandwa police are looking for in connection with communal violence in the town two months ago. This Ilyas turned out to be a native of Thane district in Maharashtra.
However, possibility of link cannot be ruled out yet, as a team of the State police led by S K Raut is in Mumbai to share dossier about SIMI activities in MP with the Anti-Terrorist Squad chief. In the aftermath of the blasts, the State police arrested about a dozen SIMI activists from Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain and Khandwa.
Of them, five were from Bhopal who were earlier held on suspicion in 2000. Their mobile calls and contacts are being thoroughly investigated. But so far the police have not found any evidence to link them with the blasts.
Police sources said that although SIMI is active in the State since 1977, its members have not carried out any major terrorist strikes here. They mostly gather secretly to propagate incriminating literatures eulogising their idols from Mehmood Ghaznavi to Osama bin Laden.
That was why the police did not take any action against SIMI activists, though they remained under surveillance. According to police, nearly 350 SIMI activists were active to vitiate communal harmony in the State till the organisation was banned in September 2001. In the subsequent police raids, 70 members were arrested and rest went underground.
In April this year, however, police were jolted when SIMI activists were found involved in the communal tension triggered by ‘sacrifice’ of a camel in Khandwa on Eid-uz-Zuha. In the subsequent raids, the police held a dozen persons including eight SIMI activists and seized huge literature and computers from their possession. They included two women.
After the bomb blasts, the police have intensified hunt for SIMI activists on very specific directive of Chief Minister Shivraj Sigh Chouhan. “We are keeping a close watch on SIMI and would not spare any one found indulging in anti-national or terrorist activities”, says Chouhan.
He reiterated this resolve in the anti-terrorist rally on July 16, which was attended by senior BJP leaders L K Advani and Dr M M Joshi.
However, Chouhan’s bete noire and Janshakti party leader Uma Bharti says that Madhya Pradesh is a safe haven for not only SIMI but also other terrorist outfits, primarily due to their link with politicians of all hues including those in the BJP.
The terrorists deliberately spare MP from their nefarious design to avoid the security forces’ attention on them, she alleges.
Cops tighten net on SIMI
THE CRIME Branch swooped down on activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in the State capital on Wednesday evening.
According to police sources, youths who had links with SIMI in the past were rounded up and interrogated. Although officials kept mum on the drive against SIMI, it is learnt that some youths were arrested from Shahjehanabad, Jehangirabad and other areas of the Walled City.
A Crime Branch source said three persons, Alim, Bashir and Irfan, were being questioned.