NIA to probe suspected SIMI module

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Security personnel inspecting the explosion site after a serial blast in the Mahabodhi temple complex at Bodhgaya this year. PTI photo
Security personnel inspecting the explosion site after a serial blast in the Mahabodhi temple complex at Bodhgaya this year. PTI photo

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has named the two men arrested from Raipur, Umer Siddiqui and Azharuddin Qureshi, as the masterminds behind the Bodh Gaya blasts in July this year. A special court of Patna had previously given the NIA a 13-day remand of Umer and Azharuddin, the suspected SIMI operatives arrested from Chhattisgarh in connection with the Bodh Gaya and Patna serial blasts. The NIA now wants to question them regarding their involvement in other terrorist attacks that have taken place in other parts of the country.

The special court has ordered the two arrested men to be produced before the court on 18 December. The NIA had appealed the court for a 15-day remand of the two suspected activists. Earlier, the NIA had filed an application in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Alok Kumar seeking a transit remand. The court granted a transit remand of the two till 6 December.

Highly placed sources in the Chhattisgarh police headquarters said that investigations had revealed that Umer had formed his own terror module which included several experts on explosives. The police are now preparing a list of all such men who possess explosives and local men capable of funding them. Fourteen arrests have been made so far from Raipur in connection with this. Besides NIA, police from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and other states also arrived in Raipur to question them. After getting important leads, the NIA has now taken Umer and Azharuddin to Patna for further investigation.

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