STF grills landlords who rented houses to SIMI operatives in Odisha

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 23:

The Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch of Odisha Police today grilled the landlords who had rented their houses to five SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India) operatives arrested from Rourkela on February 16 for the second consecutive day.

Bhadrak SIMI House


The house owner—Munu Khan– and another person Haji was interrogated in connection with renting the house at Nangamahal in Bhadrak to the five operatives.

The five operatives were staying in the rented house in Purunabazaar area in Bhadrak for eight months before relocating to Rourkela. The operatives had taken the house on rent identifying themselves as carpenters. However, they shifted to Rourkela in November last year suddenly keeping the room under lock and key.

As the person who had rented the operatives his house in Rourkela suffers from paralysis, a team of STF today visited the Steel City to question him, sources said.

Meanwhile, the STF has sought the help of National Investigating Agency (NIA) to bring Manjar who is presently lodged in Kochi jail for chopping off the hand of a profession after being arrested by NIA.

The arrested SIMI operatives had links with Manjar, who was heading the Abu Faisal gang, a hardcore SIMI terrorist. The STF team has come to know after analysing the call detail record (CDR) of the arrested operatives, sources said.

On the other hand, the items seized during search at the Nangamahal house– SIMI magazines, a dongle, two mobile phones, a pen drive and wires– have been sent to a forensic laboratory outside Odisha for examination. The investigating officers expect to gather more information from the test.

In the meantime, police have asked the landlords in Bhadrak to be careful while renting out their property to unknown tenants.

“We have asked people to be careful while renting houses to tenants. They should keep evidence of their identity proof to avoid any trouble,” Bhadrak Additional SP, Asit Kumar Mohanty said.

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