Indian detectives in Dhaka,Arrest of 3 fugitive JMB men charged in Burdwan blast case on agenda
Desk (bangladeshtime):Arrest of 3 fugitive JMB men charged in Burdwan blast case on agenda
A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India has arrived in Dhaka, for the second time in six months, to discuss with Bangladeshi law enforcers regarding the arrest of three absconding accused of Burdwan blast case.
Apart from arrest of the fugitives, all leaders and activists of banned militant group Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), the three-member team would also discuss militant activities, security of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, human trafficking and cattle smuggling during meetings with different agencies, say sources in the police headquarters.
The three-member NIA team led by its chief Shanjib Kumar Shing reached Dhaka on Saturday night.
“The NIA team has came to discuss with us about the charge sheet as four Bangladeshis are accused in the case. A meeting will be held in this regard with the NIA team,” Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of Detective Branch of police, said yesterday.
“The team will also discuss how the absconding accused can be arrested in a joint effort,” added Monirul, chief of DB police, one of the leading agencies dealing with militant activities.
On March 30, charges were pressed against 21 people, including the four JMB leaders, for their involvement in the blast that took place on October 2 last year in a house at Khagragarh in Burdwan town. One person Shakil Ahmed died on the spot and another person Sovan Mandal died in a hospital. Another person Hasan Saheb was also injured in the blast
The four Bangladeshi accused are Sheikh Rahamatullah Sajid, Talha Sheikh, Kausar and Nasirullah alias Shahadat Sheikh. Of them, Sajid was arrested by sleuths of Bidhannagar Police Commisionerate in November last year from the Airport area of North 24-Parganas district.
The NIA thinks that the three fugitives have been staying in Bangladesh.
Another delegation of the NIA visited Bangladesh in November last year. Later a Bangladesh delegation comprising high officials of law enforcement and intelligence agencies visited India and assured to help the Indian intelligence agencies locate the militants believed to be hiding in India.
Earlier, police officials in Dhaka said Sajid was actually Masum, hailing from Narayanganj while Shakil, who died in the incident, was identified as Shakil Gazi of Tangail.
JMB’s Bangladeshi militants Salehin, Boma Mizan and Tarikul were also involved in the blast along with its members of the West Bengal unit. Indian madrasa teacher, 32-year-old Maulana Yusuf Sheikh, provided shelter to the Bangladeshi militants, a senior police official said after their visit to India.
A high official of the police headquarters said the NIA fears that if militant activities rise in Bangladesh, it might be threatening for India too. Moreover, India is very much concerned about security in the bordering areas.
Apart from militancy, India is also worried about human trafficking and cattle smuggling.
Sources say the NIA team will look into the Bangladeshi law enforcers’ claim that JMB men involved in the recent bank heist at Ashulia might be linked to the Burdwan blast too.
The NIA team and Bangladesh police’s intelligence officials held a meeting at the police headquarters yesterday, and the meetings will continue in the next few days.
Abdullahel Baqui, police superintendent of organised crime unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, said the NIA team had sought information regarding some previous militant-related cases including the simultaneous bomb blasts across the country in 2005.
“The NIA wants to assist us so that we can deal such cases successfully to stop militancy,” he added.
JMB, which aims to establish Islamic laws, was banned on February 23, 2005.
According to the NIA, Sajid and his wife Fatima were “lead trainers” at Simulia Madrasa where people had been indoctrinated in jihad and kept in readiness for indulging in terror activities.
Sajid, a member of Majlis-e-Sura which is the central committee of Jamaat, is alleged to have paid money of Rs8.75 lakh to another accused Kausar for purchase of land for a madrasa in Burdwan. Sajid had spent a few years in a jail in Bangladesh.
The Burdwan explosion gave rise to fears that the Indian state across Bangladesh’s border might have turned into a hub for militants. A huge stash of bomb-making materials was recovered from the spot.
India subsequently warned Dhaka that the bombs being assembled there were meant for use in subversive activities in Bangladesh.
According to a special press note issued by the NIA in March regarding the Burdwan blast, the leading agency found that the JMB had established its network in India primarily in the states of West Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand. Its activities primarily included recruitment, radicalisation and training of vulnerable youths in a systematic and organised manner.
“These bases were used for organising radicalisation programmes, organisational meetings, fund collection drives, hideouts for cadres and their families. A network of terrorist training camps at selected madrasas and other hideouts was found to be in operation where selected youths were indoctrinated into the violent jihadi ideology as well as trained for violent action by using explosives and firearms.”
The JMB wanted to prepare a large group of Indians based on their common religious and linguistic identity, primarily in the Indian states bordering Bangladesh, to join the outfit and “utilise them for the movement to overthrow the existing democratic government in Bangladesh,” reads the press note.
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