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SIMI planned attacks in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, say police
March 28, 2008 20:34 IST
Former Students' Islamic Movement of India chief Safdar Nagori and 12 other leaders of the banned outfit arrested on Thursday were planning major terror strikes in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and tourist spots in Goa [Images], Home Ministry sources said on Friday.
Mumbai was chosen by SIMI because it is the commercial hub and the other three cities since they were frequented by foreigners in large numbers, the sources said in Delhi.
"SIMI activists, under the leadership of former chief Safdar Nagori, had arrived in Indore for the organisation's annual meeting. From the preliminary inquiry, it seems they finalised training programme to its members during the meet," Indore Range IG Anil Kumar said.
The leaders were residing in the city for more than a month, Kumar said, adding that the police have recovered news clippings from them relating to the Mumbai train blasts.
The outfit's top leaders were arrested by Madhya Pradesh Police for allegedly being involved in weapons procurement and illegal financing of the outfit.
Among those arrested as part of a special police operation that began on Wednesday night were Safdar Nagori and his brother and chief of the operations in Andhra Pradesh Kamruddin. All of them have been remanded to police custody till April 11 by a local court.
Nagori, who has been absconding since the outfit was banned in 2001, Shibly Peedical Abdul, wanted in connection with the Mumbai train serial blasts of July 2006 and setting up terror groups in Bangalore, and 11 other members of the group were brought to the court by the sleuths of Special Task Force. The police said it was also not ruling out links of these SIMI leaders with international terrorist organisations and the underworld.
"There can be links between the arrested SIMI leaders and international terror groups and also the underworld. This issue is being probed. What is also being probed is whether the main aim of their annual meeting here was to plan a terror strike," Kumar said.
He said more arrests were expected from the city and its adjoining areas in the next few days.
According to the Madhya Pradesh Police, a large cache of weapons and SIMI literature were seized from them during the raids in Indore and Dhar districts of the state.
Police sources said intelligence agencies had been keeping a close tab on the movement of SIMI leaders before swooping in on them.
Shibly is considered a prize catch as he is alleged to be part of the conclave which had met in Ujjain ahead of the Mumbai serial blasts that left over 180 people dead and over a 100 others injured.
Karnataka DGP K Srinivas told PTI that a police team has been despatched to Indore to interrogate Shibly and some others.
The SIMI leaders have been charged by the police under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including section 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against the Indian Government) and section 153A (promoting enmity between classes) and sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.
Tight security arrangements were made as they were produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate S S Thakur, who passed the remand order.