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Six SIMI suspects held, five freed

AGENCIES PROBING the March 7 Varanasi blasts picked up six Students? Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) suspects, including a Muslim cleric, from different parts of Uttar Pradesh since last Sunday. Intelligence sources told the Hindustan Times that five SIMI suspects were picked up from different parts of Azamgarh district since last Sunday in connection with the blasts. The five SIMI suspects, the sources said, were also arrested in 2001 for their anti-national activities.
None | By Prabhu Razdan, Varanasi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 31, 2006 12:15 AM IST

AGENCIES PROBING the March 7 Varanasi blasts picked up six Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) suspects, including a Muslim cleric, from different parts of Uttar Pradesh since last Sunday.   

Intelligence sources told the Hindustan Times that five SIMI suspects were picked up from different parts of Azamgarh district since last Sunday in connection with the blasts.

The five SIMI suspects, the sources said, were also arrested in 2001 for their anti-national activities.

“They were indirectly connected with the SIMI at that time,” the sources said , adding, “it was decided to pick them up once again in connection with the Varanasi blasts. All of them were detained.”

However, sources said after sustained interrogation, five of  them were freed. Meanwhile, Special Task Force investigating the blasts case is reported to have picked up a Muslim cleric from Phulpur area of Allahabad.           

He was identified as Waliullah. Reports said he was picked up by STF sleuths from his Islamabad residence, under Phulpur police station in connection, with the alleged role in the Sankat Mochan and the Cantonment blasts in Varanasi on March 7.

“Family members of Waliullah confirmed he was picked up by STF,” SSP Allahabad Vijay Singh Meena told the Hindustan Times on the phone on Thursday.

There were reports that he was being interrogated amid charges that he and his family provided refuge to terrorists at their house in 2001, following which he and his two brothers were booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code on sedition charges. Meena also said Waliullah’s family members requested his intervention to find out details of his location and also whether he was in STF custody.  “Maybe, the STF has not picked him up,” Meena added. “ If we enquire about it, they (STF) never reveal any thing,” he said.

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