Rourkela: In a joint operation, the Odisha police, Telengana police, Central Intelligence Bureau and Tactical Wing of Odisha Special Operation Group on Tuesday night arrested five suspected terrorists, including a woman member, from Quereshi Mohalla area in Odisha’s steel city Rourkela. The arrested terrorists, according Odisha Intelligence Bureau (IB) director general Arun Sarangi, belonged to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
An intense exchange of fire between the police and the accused went on for three hours before the terrorists were captured. A huge cache of arms and ammunitions, including three pistols, seven guns and 11 rounds of live cartridges, were seized from the anti-nationals. The arrested extremists were identified as Mehboob alias Guddu (27), Amzad Khan alias Dowd (27), Zakir Khan alias Sadik (32), Mahammed Salik alias Sallu (32) and Nazma, mother of Maheboob , all hailing from Khandawa district in Madhya Pradesh.
National Investigating Agency (NIA) had declared a cash award of Rs 10 lakh each on the heads of Amzad Khan and Zakir Khan. The captured SIMI rebels, informed Odisha IB director general Sarangi that they were involved in at least 17 explosions in Odisha, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Besides, they were also carrying out anti-social activities in Bihar and Jharkhand.
In 2013, all the terrorists had escaped from Khandwa Jail in Madhya Pradesh and were hiding in Rourkela since then. After the jailbreak, the terrorists killed two police personnel during a bank loot incident in Telengana. They decamped with Rs 48 lakh from the bank. The extremists also killed a policeman in Madhya Pradesh. They were also involved in several train robbery cases and a bank loot incident in Odisha’s Sundergarh district.
The police have also taken into custody the landlady of the house where the accused were staying for four months. The extremists, according to reports, were being interrogated in Reserve Police Line, Rourkela. Odisha police director general KB Singh said that the terrorists were in the radars of the Telengana police, state police and NIA and Central IB for the past four-five months and a joint operation was planned to capture them all without much difficulty. He also said that it was established that all the held terrorists were members of SIMI.