ROURKELA: Five terrorists of banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were arrested by Police in Rourkela late night on Tuesday, said police on Wednesday.
The terrorists were arrested from a house in the steel city of Rourkela in a joint operation by Odisha police, Telangana police and Intelligence Bureau.
The 3-hour-long operation jointly conducted by a special tactical unit of Odisha’s Special Operations Group, Telangana police and IB officials started late midnight at Mala Road under Plant site police station area of Rourkela, said special DG of State intelligence Arun Sarangi.
“All the five are involved in the activities of SIMI in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. They were taking shelter in Rourkela using a false identity. They were staying in Rourkela to collect money through dacoity for their other operations. All the four hail from Madhya Pradesh and are also wanted by NIA,” said DGP KB Singh.
Odisha DGP Kanwar Brajesh Singh said police arrested Mohd Khalid, Amjad Khan, Zakir Khan, Mehboob Khan and Najma (mother of Mehboob) from the house.
Singh informed that the five nabbed terrorists were the member of SIMI and were wanted by NIA.
Moreover, the four were also involved in a bank robbery, said Intelligence Bureau director Arun Sarangi.
They are also suspected to have been involved in many terror activities outside the state, informed police sources.
The arrested persons belong to Khandwa region of Madhya Pradesh and are reported to be involved in at least 17 cases in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
They are also involved in some terrorist operations, which are being probed by National Investigation Agency. They are also involved in a case of bank dacoity in Sundargarh district of Odisha.
Police said at least five guns and several bullets had been seized from them.
“Though they were living there for quite some time, all of them were not residing at the same time. After tracking their activities over a long period, we managed to arrest them,” said Sarangi.
Police said the four persons, in their 30s, had first taken a small house on rent in another place in Rourkela before shifting their hideout to Nala Road four months ago.
The development also brought to fore the vulnerability of Odisha to terror activities. On December 16, 2015, police arrested suspected al-Qaeda operative Abdul Rehman from Cuttack. In January 2015, police in Balasore arrested a contractual employee of Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Odisha coast on the charges of sharing vital strategic information with suspected agents working against Government of India.