ROURKELA: Police and Special Task Force (STF) of the Crime Branch have intensified efforts to connect the dots of undetected bank dacoity cases in three districts to ascertain the involvement of the four SIMI operatives, who were arrested from Rourkela nine days back.
As investigation is underway to establish the crimes committed by the four SIMI operatives in Odisha, the finger prints collected in the loot of Sankara branch of Indian Bank at Sundargarh town were sent to the State Finger Print Bureau for scientific examination.
On September 24 last year, a group of armed Hindi-speaking criminals had looted about `15 lakh and 3.87 kg gold from the Indian Bank in Sundargarh and fled with the CCTV server.
A senior officer on condition of anonymity said the bank loot in Sundargarh had similarity with the bank heists in Keonjhar district in which four suspects were arrested.
“Before reaching at any conclusion about involvement of the SIMI operatives, we want confirmation with scientific examination of finger prints,” he said.
Another senior police officer said an inter-state criminal group of Jharkhand might be involved in the bank loots in Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts and doubted the involvement of the arrested operatives.
After arrest of the SIMI operatives, police of Rourkela, Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts under Western Range and those of Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts under Eastern Range of Police are verifying all undetected vehicle-lifting and bank loot cases in the last four years.
Shortly after their arrest from Rourkela, the SIMI operatives had told interrogators that they used to commit bank robberies and lift vehicles to fund their terror activities.
Another senior officer said the kingpin of Jharkhand criminal gang was identified and a team of Rourkela police was sent to nab him. His arrest will establish as to who were involved in the bank robbery cases in the three districts, he added.
The involvement of SIMI operatives in Indian Bank loot in Sundargarh cannot be ruled out amid reports that they shared looted gold with their Ranchi counterpart chief Haider Ali to fund the Patna blast.