The anti-terrorism squad (ATS), Maharashtra, has announced a Rs 10-lakh reward for information on three alleged Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives from Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh module.
These men are suspected to be involved in the Faraskhana police station blast in Pune in July 2014, which left four people injured.
The three are – Meboob alias Guddu Ismail Khan, 32, Amjad Ramjan Khan, 30, and Zakir Hussian Sadiq alias Vicky Don alias Vinay Kumar, 32, – all residents of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.
Sources said this module of SIMI is suspected to be involved in the Bijnor blast in Uttar Pradesh in September 2014. The group is also suspected to be involved in a bank robbery in Karimnagar, Telangana, on February 1, 2014, and a blast in a Bangalore-Guwahati train at the Chennai Central station, which killed a young software engineer on May 1, 2014.
The SIMI module had become very active after a majority of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) members were arrested by various agencies in the country in 2013.
Sources said the Maharashtra ATS wants to catch these men soon, as they are believed to have set up several bases in parts of the state in 2012. This was revealed after some people, who allegedly shot a policeman in Aurangabad, were arrested by the ATS in the same year.
The men specialise in robbing banks and using the money for jihadi activities, police sources said. The questioning of the arrested men has revealed that they planned to assassinate right wing leaders in the state, including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. The group had also planned to kill some judges.
Some of the members of the group had been trained in Kerala in 2006 and the group has close links with Abdus Qureshi alias Tauqeer of the Indian Mujahideen (IM). In the past, several members of IM were sheltered by the SIMI module. Incidentally, Pune was the centre for SIMI in the past, and more recently, it has been one of the main bases of the IM too.