Two armed gangsters, who were gunned down by police in an encounter in Nalgonda district of Telangana, were active members of banned SIMI and had been involved in a string of terror acts that included triggering of bomb blasts across the country, police said on Sunday.
The slain duo were identified as Mohammed Aijajuddeen, a native of Kareli in Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh and Mohammed Aslam alias Bilal who hailed from Ganesh Talai in Khandwa, Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma said in a release.
Aijajuddeen and Aslam were killed in a shootout with police yesterday near Janakipuram in Nalgonda district. A police constable was killed and a sub-inspector and a circle inspector were injured in the fierce gun battle.
According to police, they were part of a group of seven undertrials who had escaped from Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh in 2013.
Sharma said the duo were also suspected to be involved in triggering a blast in Bengaluru-Guwahati Express at Chennai Railway Station in May last year in which a woman was killed and 14 others injured.
They were also believed to be involved in setting off an explosion in front of Faraskhana police station near famous Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh temple in Pune in July last year. They were identified with the help of finger prints, facial identifications and assistance provided by the Madhya Pradesh police, the DGP said in a release.
“Aijajuddeen and Aslam have been the active members of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in Madhya Pradesh and were involved in acts of terror in India,” Sharma said.
They are also suspected to be involved in several cases of dacoity, bank robberies and murders among other offences, along with other accused in different parts of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana, he said.
The duo were on the run since they opened fire and killed a police constable and a Home Guard personnel who were part of a police team that was checking vehicles for suspicious passengers a Suryapet bus stand in Nalgonda on the intervening night of April 1 and 2.
A circle inspector and another Home Guard personnel were injured in the firing, the DGP said, adding the duo had also tried to stop a car at gunpoint and injured one civilian when the driver of the car sped on.
Police also recovered a carbine from the encounter site, which the duo had snatched from police in Thursday’s attack, besides two country-made pistols which they had used in firing at Suryapet and Janakipuram, the DGP said.
He said a motorcycle, which the gangsters had snatched from a citizen at Arvapally while trying to escape after the Suryapet incident, was recovered by police.
The two were suspected to be involved in planting an IED in a train in Haryana in September last, a blast in UP’s Bijnor in October, a robbery of Rs 1.25 lakh in December, 2013 at Jharsiguda Gramina bank in Odisha, and a Rs 46 lakh robbery at SBI in Karimnagar district of Telangana in February last.
The DGP said the duo allegedly committed a dacoity of around 3.2 kg gold and looted cash worth Rs 22.5 lakh from a finance unit in Ramachandrapuram of Medak district in Telangana in February.
They also committed dacoity in Dhanbad-Alleppey Express near Kasinga railway station of Odisha in February, and a robbery in HDFC Bank in Lucknow of Uttar Pradesh the same month, Sharma said.
He said they were also found involved in offences including firing on the BJP leader Pramod Tiwari of Khandwa in January 2009.
Meanwhile, Telangana Home Minister Nayani Narsimha Reddy has announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 40 lakh each to the families of the slain constables, Lingaiah and Nagaraju, and Rs 10 lakh to Home Guard Mahesh.
The government also assured a job to their family members.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is monitoring the developments, also lauded the services of police personnel in making supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.
Aslam and his aides had looted Rs 60,000 from a businessman in Khandwa and Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 9.50 lakh from two banks at Dewas in 2009, the DGP said.
The duo had also fired upon a local court judge in Ujjain in 2010. They also conspired to eliminate Sanjay Pandey, the jailor of Satna jail in MP and murdered constable Sitaram Yadav of Khandwa in 2009.
They looted Rs 70,000-80,000 from Canara Bank at ltrasi, Rs 1 lakh from Punjab National Bank at Ratlam, Rs 1 lakh from SBI in Indore and 10 kg gold from Manappuram Gold Finance Limited in Bhopal in 2010, the release added.
Meanwhile, an intelligence officer said teams of elite Organisation for Counter Terrorist Operations (Octopus) and Greyhound personnel are combing the area where the encounter took place to flush out the accomplices of the duo who were also part of the group of seven undertrials who had escaped from Khandwa jail in October 2013.