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Gujarat cops seek SIMI leader Safdar Nagori
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August 19, 2008 14:51 IST

Police investigating the July 26 serial blasts case has decided to seek custody of SIMI [Images] leader Safdar Nagori from Madhya Pradesh [Images] police and is likely to bring him here for questioning, a crime branch official said.

"Nagori along with his brother Karimuddin were the key trainers during the SIMI training camp held in Kerala [Images] (December 2007) and Halol in Gujarat (January 2008)," said Joint Commissioner of Police (crime branch) Ashish Bhatia.

"They are also key conspirators who designed and planned the terror attacks in Ahmedabad [Images]. They may also be involved in Jaipur [Images] and Hyderabad blasts," Bhatia said.

Nagori and his associates were arrested in March from Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

"We are presently concentrating on interrogation of those arrested by us. Later we will bring Nagori for further interrogation. We believe he was instrumental in planning the blasts in Ahmedabad. He may have also arranged for funds to procure explosives and other materials," Bhatia added.

According to crime branch officials, Nagori is an expert trainer who can influence young people with his inflammatory speeches. He may be a crucial link to other blasts in the country as well.

Bhatia, who is heading the investigations in Ahmedabad, said there was a virtual split in SIMI between moderate and hardline leaders after it was banned by the Union government in 2001.

Nagori, one of the hardliners, tried to take control of SIMI's breakaway faction from Mijubul Islam who was considered to be a moderate leader, Bhatia said.

The result of the conflict was that hardline leaders persisted and SIMI's destructive activities started from 2005, he added.

During the crackdown, some active SIMI workers managed to escape. They included Qayamuddin from Vadodara and Mufti Abu Bashir of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh [Images], police sources said.

The duo later visited Ahmedabad and Vadodara to establish contacts.

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