More SIMI men held, police say Sushil Kumar Shinde was target

ShindeThe arrested men also revealed that they were monitoring Shinde's frequent visits to his constituency. (IE Photo)

Suspected SIMI operatives arrested last week said they conducted a recce in Solapur, Maharashtra, and were planning to carry out an attack on Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, police sources said.

The arrested men also revealed that they were monitoring Shinde's frequent visits to his constituency. Three of the men were arrested from a house a few metres away from the place where Shinde was attending a marriage reception, they said.

The three operatives, identified as Khalid Ahmed, Sadiq and Umer Hafiz, were arrested last week in a joint operation by the Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra Police. Their interrogations revealed that they wanted to target Shinde as he had given the orders to hang 26/11 Mumbai attacker Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh police arrested four more suspected SIMI operatives from Ujjain on Tuesday night.

A huge cache of explosives were also seized from them. Javed Nagori, Abdul Aziz, Mohammed Adil and Abdul Wahid were taken into custody after a late night operation. Police refused to share details of the operation that led to the arrests from Topkhana locality.

ATS chief Sanjeev Shami said 12 improvised explosive devices, 900 gelatine rods and 600 detsonators were seized from the four men.

Police refused to share what the interrogation of the four revealed or what they planned to do with the explosives. Police said they traced the four men by using information provided by Abu Fazal alias Doctor, who was also arrested during last week's joint operation, from Sendhwa, Madhya Pradesh.

Fazal, who is alleged to have been involved in several terror attacks in the country, had escaped from Khandwa jail last year.

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