BHUBANESWAR: A joint team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) is trying to ascertain if the Khandwa module of SIMI had any links with the group which carried out the blasts at Bodh Gaya as well as in Patna in 2013.
The team arrived here and began quizzing the five SIMI operatives who were arrested from Rourkela on Tuesday night and are now in custody of the Special Task Force of the Crime Branch of Odisha Police. The NIA-IB team’s investigation is focused on the Jihadi activities of the particular group.
Reliable sources said, though the Khandwa Module had no direct involvement in the Bodh Gaya and Patna blasts, they probably had links with the members of the group that carried out the attacks.
On July 7, 2013, a series of blasts had rocked the Maha Bodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, an international tourist destination. At least six SIMI and IM members were chargesheeted by NIA in connection with the attack.
On October 27 the same year, the Patna blasts took place and the probe agency named 11 persons in the chargesheet, six of whom figured in the Bodh gaya case. “The two Central agencies are looking at the Jihadi activities and links with other modules. The Chennai train blasts and Ganesh Temple explosions in Pune are also under scanner of the NIA,” sources said.
The group arrested from Rourkela apparently had made a reconnaissance at Muzaffarnagar to avenge the riots. However, an accidental explosion at Bijnaur during the bomb making process poured cold water on their plan.
Sources informed that the group members had also carried out a recce in Balasore though they did not stay there. In Odisha, they had visited Sambalpur, Jharsuguda while staying at Rourkela and Bhadrak.
The Anti Terrorist Squad of MP is also quizzing the five who are charged with at least 15 dacoity cases in the State.
“SIMI as a terror group has been self-sustaining and had to generate resources not only to support their activities but also to provide for the family members of those who get arrested or killed,” an officer said.
On July 7, 2013, a series of blasts had rocked the Maha Bodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, an international tourist destination