Rourkela: Five terrorists, including a woman, of banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were arrested by Police in Rourkela late night yesterday after a 3-hour-long fire exchange. According to sources, the five of them were staying at a rented flat Qureshi Mohalla. A joint team of Special Operations Group (SOG), Telengana Police, Rourkela Police and Intelligence Bureau launched a raid at the place and arrested the five.
The five terrorists have been identified as as Mehboob Khan alias Guddu, Zakhir Khan alias Sadiq, Amjad Khan alias Dawood, Saliq alias Sallu and Najma (Mehboob’s mother). Mehboob, Zakhir, Amjad and Saliq are all residents of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.They were amongst the most-wanted terrorists and the NIA had announced Rs 10 lakh reaward on each of their heads.
“They are a part of SIMI and were involved in terror activities in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. They were taking shelter in Rourkela using a false identity. They were staying in Rourkela since past 4-5 months to collect money through dacoity for their other operations. All the four hail from Madhya Pradesh and are also wanted by NIA, ” said Police DG K.B. Singh.
“The arrested were involved in 17 blasts at various places. Their records showed that they were involved in the killing of 2 policemen in Telangana and 1 in Madhya Pradesh. They had escaped from Khandwa Jail in Madhya Pradesh and in 2013. They also robbed Rs 48 lakh from a bank in Telangana,” revealed Police sources.
Security forces also seized 3 pistols, 11 rounds of ammunition and 7 guns from their possession, added sources. Meanwhile, no civilian casualties were reported in the 3-hour-long operation at a residential area.
Meanwhile, police sources also said that they have been kept at a secret location for interrogation.
Soon after their arrests, Police DG Singh met CM Naveen Patnaik at the secretariat and the Home Secretary to apprise them about the situation.
Later in a press meet, Singh informed that the services of the Tactical Unit were used successfully in the operation. This is was the first operation where the Tactical Unit was pressed into service. Divulging more details about the arrested persons Singh said “All of they were carrying fake documents. They were carrying fake identity proofs and Pan cards. Their upcoming move was to rob a bank in Chhattisgarh.”
An insurance agent, identified as Naveen Sahu, helped the five arrested SIMI terrorists in Rourkela, the DGP adedd.