INTELLIGENCE SLEUTHS are at present carrying out a massive operation in UP to dig out the face behind the 7/11 bomb blasts in Mumbai. On the target are several SIMI cadres and their sympathizers.
Agencies have been tipped off about a possible link of the Mumbai blast with Kanpur city as the city is one of the strongest base of SIMI networks in North India, besides Aurangabad in West India and a district in Kerala.
Besides Kanpur, SIMI cadres are being quizzed in Aligarh, Ghazipur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Ambedkar Nagar. Sketches of the Mumbai blast suspects are also being shown to them for identitying the ultras. Also, the bank accounts of 22 SIMI cadres are being scrutinised by the sleuths.
For two days in a row, teams of central agencies and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) Mumbai jointly interrogated state president of the Student Islamic Movement of India Mohd Aamir inside the Kanpur Jail. The sleuths questioned Aamir about the SIMI network and its links with terror groups in Bangladesh.
Also, the teams are tracing possible connection, if there is any, between Aamir’s unexpected surrender and the Mumbai blasts. Sources said Aamir was interrogated twice, first on Thursday night and then on Friday morning. The team members sought details about what he did when he was on the run for five years to escape police, who were hunting for him for charges of sedition against him and the Kanpur blasts.
“The two Q&A sessions ran for hours in isolation,” said the jail sources adding, “no one from state police was involved”. The interrogation comes in the backdrop of inputs that Aamir spent a considerable time both in Mumbai and Bangladesh.
In addition, the ATS Mumbai picked up Aamir’s youngest sibling and sought information about the whereabouts of Mohd Salman— another brother and former district president of SIMI. The raid was conducted at the Maida Bazar residence late on Thursday night. Later, the ATS let Aamir’s youngest brother go. Sources said the team members wanted specific information about Salman, who is at large for long. Another raid was carried out to track down another SIMI Ansar Mohd Ashfaq in Ghammu Khan Ka Hata. An expert in hand embroidery, Ashfaq had fled to Dubai taking advantage of the arrest of someone else by the same name from Chandari way back in 2001. Ashfaq was the key player in the Kanpur riots and he was closely associated with Mumtaz Maulana — the LeT militant arrested here for the blasts in Arya Nagar. He remained in Dubai for nearly five years and returned only two months ago.
The teams are also looking for the youth who had delivered the C4 explosive to ex-SIMI cadre and LeT man Mushiruddin Siddiqui on January 29 at Kanpur Central station.
Meanwhile, Central intelligence agencies are also keeping a close watch on SIMI sympathisers in the district. According to Intelligence sources, the agencies today verified the details of the sympathisers and stepped up vigil on their activities.
They also examined the accounts of these sympathisers for possible leads.
According to Intelligence sources, over 20 accounts of known SIMI sympathisers were scruitinised here today.