New Delhi, Dec 8: High alert has been sounded across India that five members of the banned SIMI, who had fled from a Madhya Pradesh jail in 2013, are planning to carry out terror strikes on instructions of Pakistan's spy agency ISI.
Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan have been specifically alerted and told that the terrorists could be hiding in the three states, they said.
"Unn logon ko aacha project diya hain, kuch din intezar karo (These people have been given an important project. Wait for sometime)," one of the intercepted conversations of an ISI official and a handler says.
The last known locations of at least two fugitives happened to be in Karnataka. On October 1, 2013, the five, along with Faisal, the leader of the gang, and another prisoner, made an audacious escape from the district jail in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh after scaling a 14-foot wall.
While the seventh prisoner surrendered the next day and Faisal was caught in December last year from Barwani in Madhya Pradesh, the five accused are still at large.
Interestingly, Mehboob's mother Najma Bee has disappeared from their home in Khandwa a few months ago and is believed to be hiding along with her son.
The suspects' footprints have been found in Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The group is suspected to be involved in a bank robbery in Karimnagar (Telangana) on February 1, 2014, blast in a Bangalore-Guwahati train at the Chennai Central station that killed a young software engineer, on May 1, 2014 and the July 10, 2014 explosion near Faraskhana and Vishrambag police stations in Pune.
The five were jailed in the first place in June 2011 on charges of murdering policemen, attempts to murder, bank robberies and for inciting communal tension while working for terror group SIMI.