Two SIMI activists nabbed near Mumbai

April 10th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 10 (IANS) Two well educated activists of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who were close to their top leader and ideologue Safdar Nagori, were arrested from Thane district, near here, Thursday. They are suspected to be linked to the terror network that was involved in the July 11, 2006 serial explosions in Mumbai suburban trains, Mumbai Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Rakesh Maria said.

The two - identified as Irshad Salim Khan, 37, and Israr Ahmed Abdul Hamid Tailor, 38, and nabbed by Unit-II of the Crime Branch - were handed over to the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), which will seek their custody.

Maria said that in 2001, Irshad was also the president of SIMI’s Maharashtra unit. The central government banned the organisation Sep 27 that year.

While Irshad is a qualified civil engineer, Israr is a computer expert and they were wanted since July 2006, Maria said.

Nabbed from the Muslim-dominated residential locality of Nayanagar in Mira Road, both were wanted in a case registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Maria declined to comment whether they were directly involved in the Mumbai train bombings and said that “they would be interrogated by the ATS.”

Special Inspector General of Police (ATS) Hemant Karkare was in contact with the Madhya Pradesh police Special Task Force, which arrested Nagori and his close aides in Indore late last month.

Nagori is also said to be in close links with Ehtesham Siddiqui, one of the accused in the 11/7 train bombing case. Five people, including Siddiqui, were arrested while 12 more were on the most wanted list of the Mumbai police, including Irshad, Israr besides Nagori.

The Maharashtra police are striving to secure the remand of Nagori from the Madhya Pradesh STF as they feel he could shed more light on the suburban train blasts case.

Considered one of the worst terror acts in India, the train blasts claimed 187 lives and injured over 800 other commuters.

Soon after the incident, the accused including the Irshad and Israr went underground and later the police got information that they had resurfaced and were living in Mira Road, Maria said.

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