Three SIMI activists, who were among the eight fugitives gunned down by police on the outskirts of Bhopal earlier this week, were involved in a couple of bank robberies and of looting cash from a bank employee in Dewas, police said on Wednesday.
The three –Zakir Hussain, Sheikh Mehboob alias Guddu and Amzad– were involved in looting Rs 9.64 lakh from the Vijayaganj Mandi branch of the Bank of India, said Dewas additional superintendent of police Rajesh Raghuvangshi.
The gang also committed a similar heist at the Narmada Malwa Gramin Bank in Singawada and again on December 7, the trio snatched Rs 6 lakh from a bank employee, who was taking the money from the Bagli Bank in Dewas to the Udainagar branch of the bank, he said.
The Bank Note Press police station registered a cases against five people in connection with the bank robberies. The Dewas police were, however, unable to trace the accused in any of the cases.
On June 3, 2011, in a shootout between the Madhya Pradesh anti-terror squad (ATS) of the Ratlam police and SIMI activists, an ATS personnel lost his life. Police, however, managed to nab two of the accused, including Hussain, said Raghuvangshi.
“On the basis of information provided by Hussain, the ATS arrested the eight SIMI activists from Jabalpur and Bhopal on June 5. Among the arrested was Abu Faizal, the alleged head of the banned SIMI in Madhya Pradesh.
“During questioning the arrested SIMI activists admitted that they committed the bank dacoities and looting of the bank employee.”
While Zakir, Abu Faizal, Amzad, Ikrar and Sheikh Mehboob alias Guddu were booked in connection with the two bank robberies, Amzad was booked for the looting. The Vijayaganj Mandi bank robbery case is still going on in a special court in Bhopal, police said.
During questioning the SIMI activists told the Dewas police that they had stayed in rented apartments in the town for more than two months before committing the robberies.