Probe begins into Taliban link of SIMI operatives

Bhubaneswar: The police on Thursday began investigation into the suspected links of five SIMI members with Talibans based in Afghanistan.

Highly placed sources said, a special team of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) interrogated the SIMI operatives to ascertain their suspected money transactions with the Talibans.

Meanwhile a team of Madhya Pradesh police, which is in Odisha at present to interrogate them, has found substantial evidence of their links with the extremist group. If sources are to be believed the team has seized a pan card from Mehboob alias Guddu alias Malik, which is in the name of a Hindu belonging to neighbouring Jharkhand. A team is expected to be sent to Jharkhand to gather more information on this.

It has also come to fore from their mobile phone call records that the SIMI operatives were travelling frequently to Kolkata and the reason is yet to be known.

Police had arrested the four SIMI operatives – Mohammad Salik (33), Zakir Hussain (32), Amjad Khan (27) and Sheikh Mehboob (27) – along with Mehboob’s mother Najma Biwi (60) from a rented house in Rourkela’s Nallah Road area.

Sources said that the Madhya Pradesh police team had also found that Abu Faisal alias ‘doctor’, who is the leader of the arrested SIMI activists, had transferred money from his bank account to a terrorist organisation in Afghanistan. Abu Faisal is now lodged in a Madhya Pradesh jail.