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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Police and intelligence agencies have gone into an overdrive to extract more information from the five SIMI terrorists arrested in Rourkela yesterday. The National Investigating Agency (NIA), Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch and Police from other states will be interrogating the five arrested terrorists to unearth vital information on their terrorist activities spread across the country.

“Given the sensitivity of the case, the STF has taken charge of the probe. In the preliminary stage we have sent a 8-member team to Rourkela. The probe will be led by a DSP rank officer as the case has been registered under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967. The IG of STF, Arun Bothra is camping at Rourkela. Sustained interrogation of the arrested will be carried out. From the preliminary investigation, it is known that all the five have been moving in and out of Odisha for some time and have stayed at various places. We are planning for a comprehensive interrogation to find out their purpose of stay in Odisha, information on local facilitators, network, associates etc. Police of other states have also arrived and they will be questioning the arrested on various terror activities carried out in other States. We are adopting a information-sharing and joint-interrogation strategy and feel that it will be helpful,” said Special DG Crime, BK Sharma.

Meanwhile, Rourkela Police were granted 7 days’ remand of the five arrested SIMI terrorists by the Rourkela SDJM court late last night. The five were produced in court as late as 1 AM in the night. Though the police had applied for 15 days’ remand, the court granted only 5 days’ remand.

Similarly, the STF has moved the Rourkela ADJ court seeking a 30-day remand of the five arrested terrorists.

In a 3-hour-long operation ending in the wee hours on Wednesday, a joint team of Special Operations Group (SOG), Telangana Police, Rourkela Police and Intelligence Bureau raided a house in Qureshi Mohalla in Rourkela and arrested the five.

The five terrorists have been identified as as Mehboob Khan alias Guddu, Zakir Khan alias Sadiq, Amjad Khan alias Dawood, Saliq alias Sallu and Najma (Mehboob’s mother). All of them are residents of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. They are among the most-wanted terrorists in the country with a Rs 10 lakh reward on each of their heads announced by the NIA.

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