Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rourkela, Feb 18:
The Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) Court Rourkela today allowed the Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha Crime Branch police to take five Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives arrested from the Steel City yesterday on a 13 day remand for interrogation.
The STF had moved the SDJM court to take the five on a 30 day remand.
The STF will get the five arrestees to Bhubaneswar for interrogation. They will leave for Bhubaneswar from Rourkela amid tight security arrangements in a couple of hours, revealed police sources.
Following taking over of the probe by the STF yesterday, an eight member team of the STF arrived in Rourkela today and is doing its job. Crime Branch IG Arun Bothra is also in Rourkela.
Earlier, on the other hand, the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court at Rourkela had allowed Rourkela police to take the five arrested on a seven day remand in the wee hours today (1 AM). The police had sought to take the SIMI activists on a 15 day remand.
Meanwhile, the police has also arrested Naveen Sahu, an insurance advisor who had allegedly arranged fake documents for the SIMI operatives and had facilitated them in opening bank accounts in their names. Sahu had acted as their introducer to open bank accounts. Police is grilling him, revealed police sources.
Five SIMI activists Mehboob Khan, Mohd Salik, Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain and Mehboob’s mother Najma Biwi were arrested from the Quereshi Mohalla of Nala Road locality of Rourkela in the wee hours yesterday after an exchange of fire with a joint team of Telangana and state police.
These activists of the banned outfit had escaped from the district jail in MP’s Khandwa in 2013 by scaling the jail’s 14-ft high wall and police teams of multiple states were looking for them since them.
These men were also in the radar of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
A total of seven SIMI cadres had escaped from the jail on October 1, 2013.While one had surrendered the very next day of the jail break, another was caught from Madhya Pradesh the same year. The remaining five had been at large since then.
Our Bhadrak correspondent adds:
The five arrested SIMI operatives had also taken a house on rent in Bhadrak’s Nanga Mahal locality apart from the one at Quereshi Mohalla in Nala Road locality of Rourkela. A few months back they had taken the house on rent and it has been locked for about a month. Since the fact came to light armed policemen have surrounded the house.
A relative (son-in-law) of the house owner said a woman and four youths used to stay in the house. She had identified them as her sons and nephews. They claimed to be doing tree felling and other jobs. They used to move out in the morning and returned in the evening, he added.