VIJAYAWADA: Though it has been a week since the two SIMI operatives have been gunned down during a fierce encounter in the neighbouring Nalgonda district, the Vijayawada police are clueless as to what could have been the motive of slain SIMI activists Aslam Ayub and Md Azizuddin in purchasing bus tickets to the city.
They are unable to conclude whether it was to make Vijayawada an operational base for their activities or to use the city as a shelter zone or just a transit point.
Commissioner of Police AB Venkateswara Rao said that the purchase of bus tickets to Vijayawada by the SIMI activists did not appear to be coincidental and added that the police were still trying to establish their motives.
“As both of them are dead, we are unable to determine why they wanted to come to Vijayawada. Was it for using the city as a base for their operations or as a shelter zone or simply as a transit point, there are no answers though we have questioned several persons and have intensified the checks,” Rao said and added that they were now looking for public inputs to throw some light on the possible motives of the SIMI activists.
Participating in a ‘Meet the Press’ programme here Sunday, the top cop of the city said the presence of SIMI in Guntur and Vijayawada could not be ruled out as in the past many former SIMI activists had been found living in the two cities. “Movements of such people are being closely monitored,’’ he said.
Since the two cities are now in the Capital Region and developmental works are being planned with foreign collaboration, they seem to be on the radar of terror outfits now. However, he admitted that the police in Vijayawada do not have the wherewithal to take on the SIMI activists. “The existing counter-intelligence cell and the cyber crime cell were small units and were only capable of providing some inputs rather than handling full-fledged operations,’’ he said.
Rao said that the strengthening of these units was part of the design for the proposed police commissionerate for the new capital region of the state, which would be the largest one in the country, covering approximately 7000 sq km. He said it would be a challenging taks to police such a huge area and added that the present population of around 60 lakh would “touch 3-crore mark in our lifetime”.
What worried the top cop were easy access to arms to criminals and availability of hired killers in North India, particularly in UP and Bihar. He cited three recent cases, where the accused had procured firearms or engaged hired killers from North India for either threatening or killing their opponents. “It is a definite cause of worry.
Though till now there has been no organised crime wherein the criminals have used firearms, the easy access to them in North India is something to worry about and watch for,” he added.