Patna blasts: NIA releases sketch, announces reward; SIMI claims to know accused
Zee Media Bureau
Patna: In the latest development in Patna and Bodh Gaya blasts probe, a SIMI activist on Sunday said that he knew all accused of both the incidents.
An activist of banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) who was arrested from Raipur in Chhattisgarh said to the investigators today that two of the Patna blasts accused stayed with him till November 09.
Police had arrested two suspected SIMI militants on Friday on a tip-off from Bihar police that they might have links with Patna blasts.
Autodriver Abdul Wahid Khan (54) of Pandri and Umer Sidhhiqui (35), who runs a coaching class in Raja Talab were arrested by police for their alleged SIMI links.
Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Mukesh Gupta had said that Abdullah, allegedly a prime accused in the Patna blasts, and other suspects in the incident were in contact with Umer Siddhiqui and Abdul Wahid.
The duo had allegedly helped Abdullah get a house on rent in Sanjay Nagar area of Raipur, though the Patna blasts accused ran away from the house when the police raided it, the official said.
After getting a tip-off that SIMI and Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspects were present in Ambikapur (North Chhattisgarh) and Raipur district, police had followed their movements in both region, he said.
Evidence recovered after raids at separate places in Patna and Ranchi after the recent Patna blasts, established the connection of the arrested Umer Siddiqui with the terror outfit, the official said.
Umer was in close association with suspected SIMI terrorists Abu Faizal, Ejajuddin, Mehboob, Aslam, Amzad and Zakir Hussain who recently escaped from Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh, he said.
Meanwhile, continuing its crackdown on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Chhattisgarh police today said five more members of the banned outfit have been arrested from the different locations of the capital in the past two days.
These fresh arrests have been made to facilitate ongoing investigations, which have established that the five SIMI operatives provided logistics, financial and ideological support to run the banned organisation, police said today.
The five suspected SIMI activists, who were taken into custody for interrogation earlier, have been arrested, Civil Lines City Superintendent of Police (CSP) Rakesh Bhatt told reporters here this evening.
The alleged SIMI operatives have been identified as Sheikh Azijullah (36), a resident of Pandri, Moinuddin Mashiuddin Qureshi (37) of Rajatalab, Sheikh Habibullah (33) of Pandri, Hayat Noor Khan alias Raju Mistry (45) of Gudhiyari and Roshan Ghulam Sheikh (32) of Ashok Nagar, he said.
Moinuddin had given his house at Sanjay Nagar to Abdullah, an accused in the recent Patna blast case and his alleged accomplices on rent, he said.
During investigation, it came to fore that Sheikh Habibullah, Hayat Khan and Roshan had links with the banned organisation SIMI since 1999 and they had also allegedly attended a meeting of the terror outfit held at Barnawapara forests, around 100 km away from the Chhattisgarh state capital of Raipur.
Investigators also recovered SIMI membership forms from arrested SIMI operatives, he said.
All of them were booked under provisions of the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act, 1968, he said.
Ten bombs had exploded at Bodh Gaya`s Mahabodhi temple on July 07, 2013, in which two Buddhist monks were injured. Terrorists had shattered the peace of the world-renowned Mahabodhi temple and surrounding pilgrim spots.
Two months after this incident, on October 28, six people died in Patna blasts which rocked the capital city ahead of the `Hunkar` rally, which was to be addressed by Bharatiya Janata Party`s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) today announced a cash reward of up to Rs 10 lakh for any information leading to arrest of five absconding accused of banned Indian Mujahideen terror group including Tahseen Akhtar in Bodh Gaya and Patna serial blasts cases.
The NIA, which is probing the blasts cases, also released sketches and details of the five wanted accused.
With PTI inputs
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