SIMI terrorists arrested in Kerala, admit to anti-national activities

published on October 7, 2008

SIMI activists admit to anti-national activities

Pioneer News Service / Kochi

The two activists of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), arrested on Monday night, admitted before the special Crime Branch investigation team that they had involved in anti-national activities. They made this confession during their interrogation between 8 am and 3 pm on Tuesday at the Police Club here. A court at North Paravur remanded them in custody for fourteen days.

The SIMI workers, Shameer of Guruvayur and Abdul Hakkeem of Eriyad, both in Thrissur district, were detained by the special Crime Branch team reinvestigating the case related to the meeting held by a group of SIMI operatives at Panayikkulam near Aluva on August 15, 2006. Shameer and Hakkeem admitted to the police that anti-national programmes had indeed been discussed at the meeting on that day.

Hakkeem was arrested by the team headed by Deputy Inspector General TK Vinod Kumar from a private hospital in Kochi while Shameer was detained from his residence in Guruvayur. The duo had been in the team of 18 SIMI workers held from Happy Auditorium, Panayikkulam, during the secret meeting.

Though the entire 18 workers were rounded up by the police, they had taken into custody only five of them, allowing 13 to go free. The five persons who were taken into custody were released later due to the alleged intervention by influential people. The police decided to re-investigate the matter after two of them fell into police net in Indoor recently after the series of blasts in several parts of the country.

The police were yet to confirm whether they had taken part in the SIMI training camp held at Thangalppara in Kolahalamedu, Vagamon in Idukki district in December 2007 and January 2008, which had been carried out in preparation for the recent terrorist acts in the country. It was the Director General of Police, Gujarat who had informed about the training camp at Vagamon, where a group of SIMI workers had got trained in jungle warfare and field action.

From the interrogation of the duo on Tuesday, the police came to the conclusion that Hakkeem was still an active operative of the banned outfit while Shameer was a ‘sleeper’. Shameer was not involved in the operations of the organisation actively but had close connections with the SIMI leaders, the police concluded.

Meanwhile, a group of experts from the police and its intelligence wing held further investigations at Thangalppara and the surroundings in Kolahalamedu, where the about 40 SIMI activists had held a camp in preparation for terrorist acts. The examinations were on the basis of information that explosives-making and tests had been held at the training camp.

The detailed examination was with the assistance of forensic experts and the bomb squad equipped with gadgets like mine sweepers, metal detectors and electronic stethoscopes. Superintendent of Police TV Kamalasanan of the Crime Branch, Kozhikode, Forensic Director James Philippose, DySPs KR Kannan, D Asokan, Venugopal and others led the inspections.

The team also took statements of the local people about the sightings of the activists who participated in the training camp, but they had nothing to offer more than what they had already told investigating officials.

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