Three suspected members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police on Monday night have admitted to having links with Pakistan-based terror outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban, the police said.
Madhya Pradesh anti-terrorist squad Inspector general of police Sanjeev Sami said the trio also planned to target some important personalities using firearms or explosives, as the situation demanded.
Some believe BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was among the targets.
The MP anti-terror squad, meanwhile, in association with its Maharashtra counterpart, also claimed to have arrested two more SIMI operatives from Solapur in Maharashtra on Tuesday night.
The teams claimed they recovered three live bombs, 70 gelatin strips, 100 detonator and explosives from their possession. The arrested persons were identified as Sadiq and Umer Hafis, both resident of Solapur district.
Addressing a press conference following the fresh arrests, Sami said in Bhopal the arrested gang of SIMI operatives has links with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which has carried out some of the deadliest terror attacks inside the neighbouring country.
The suspects were using the same modus operandi to run their organisation like the Pakistan terror group, Sami said.
Three persons arrested on Sunday were Abu Faisal, who had escaped from Khandwa Jail along with five others on October 1, Khalid, a resident of Solapur district and Irfan Nagauri, a resident of Khandwa district.
The other escapees are believed to be hiding in Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts of Odisha.
The MP ATS and Odisha police raided three houses in both the districts and recovered Rs 75, 000 in cash.
Sami said that the operatives were planning bank robberies to raise funds and they could be behind the December 23 robbery in a Cooperative Bank branch in Jharsuguda.