The police are investigating if money looted from a branch of the Sate Bank of India (SBI) in Karimnagar district on February 1 was meant for terror purposes. Th e police are also trying to ascertain if cash recovered from a hideout of members of Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) group, in Burdwan, where a bomb killed two persons on October 2, also came from this loot and whether SIMI members were helping the group that had set up base in Burdwan.
Four armed men had robbed the SBI branch at Chopaddandi village and looted Rs 46 lakh . Three of the four youths who fled on motorcycles are now suspected to be SIMI activists who escaped from Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh last October. While seven SIMI members, including Abu Faisal, a Mumbai-based leader, escaped from on October 1 last, the MP Anti-Terror Squad arrested four including Faisal, while three are still on the run. These three, and an associate, are believed to have robbed the bank. “Based on evidence and CCTV footage, we believe they are the same persons who escaped from Khandwa jail,’’ Karimnagar SP Shiva Kumar said on Friday. Abu Faisal is believed to have set up a separate wing of SIMI especially to loot banks, finance institutions, jewelers and gold mortgaging companies to fund their activities.
The SP said he was not sure if the bank was looted exclusively to finance terror. “Initially we thought it was a gang from Maharashtra but investigations revealed that it was the handiwork of the SIMI activists,’’ SP Kumar said.