VIJAYAWADA:Were the SIMI operatives who were killed by the police in an encounter in Nalgonda district in the neighbouring Telangana state on Saturday morning, heading for Vijayawada? If they were, were they planning something big in this city which is all set to emerge as the state capital and leave their footprints for the first time?
As soon as the news broke out that the two bandits killed in encounter were those who shot and killed one policeman and injured a police officer on Saturday were the same as those who had shot and killed one constable and one home guard at Suryapet bus station in Nalgonda district, the Vijayawada police have sat bolt upright and took stock of the situation as the place of the offence is very close to the AP border.
“The suspected SIMI activists may have been headed for Vijayawada. We have reason to believe that the SIMI activists have shelter zones in Vijayawada,” a senior police officer told Express.
The police, after learning about the shootout, intensified patrolling to prevent gangsters or terror groups from entering Andhra Pradesh. “We are keeping a tight vigil at the AP-Telangana border. We are checking all the vehicles that are entering our state. We are not leaving anything to chance,” the police officer said.
Apart from Vijayawada, and possibly Krishna district, it is widely believed that Andhra Pradesh is a safe haven for SIMI activists. One such area is Tada on the AP-Tamil Naidu border where the ultras were suspected to have taken shelter after triggering explosions at the Chennai railway station in May last year.