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Two of the eight SIMI terror suspects killed in Monday’s alleged police encounter in Madhya Pradesh were found to have been involved in a blast on Bengaluru-Guwahati Kaziranga Express at Chennai Central railway station on May 1, 2014 but could not be brought to trial because the Madhya Pradesh government did not want to move them out of the state.
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The MP government promulgated an ordinance preventing the transfer of the two suspects — Zakir Hussain (alias Sadiq), 33, and Sheikh Mehboob (alias Guddu), 32 — until the conclusion of trial in cases registered against them in Madhya Pradesh.
“We tried to obtain their (Zakir and Sheikh’s) custody. They (MP government) promulgated an ordinance which does not allow the prisoners to be moved out of MP,’’ Tamil Nadu’s CB-CID chief Karan Singha had said earlier this year.
The Tamil Nadu CB-CID is probing the blast on Kaziranga Express at Chennai station that had killed a software engineer from Andhra Pradesh — Swathi Prachuri, 22 — who was returning home for the first time after joining Tata Consultancy Services.
Following their arrest in Odisha, on February 17, Zakir and Sheikh had purportedly confessed to various police agencies, including Tamil Nadu CB-CID, about their involvement in the two blasts on the train.
During interrogation, Zakir is learnt to have confessed that he had planted one of the two bombs that exploded on Kaziranga Express. Sheikh had been identified as among those who assembled the bombs.
Mohammed Aijazuddin, suspected to have planted the second bomb on the train, was killed in an encounter with Telangana police in April 2015. According to accounts provided by Zakir to multiple agencies, they planted the bombs on Kaziranga Express to avenge alleged attacks on Muslims in Assam.