Dhaka – Indian police have arrested six suspected members of an Islamist militant outfit banned in Bangladesh, media reports said on Monday.
The six are suspected members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an organization that was banned in Bangladesh in 2015 after it carried out a number of attacks on public offices.
Kalkata-based newspaper The new Indian Express reported that the Kolkata Police Special Task Force have picked up the suspected militants at different locations near the Bangladeshi border in West Bengal and Assam.
Of the six, five are accused in the Khagraghar blasts in Burdwan and have been formally charged with the attack. Three of the JMB operatives are Bangladeshis and three are Indian natioanls.
Kolkata Police STF chief Vishal Garg said that interrogations revealed that the JMB operatives were planning to strike in locations in South India and North East India.
He also claimed that the accused had fled to South India and Northeast after the Burdwan blasts.
They are identified as Anowar Hossein Faruk alias Inam alias Kalubhai, the West Bengal Chief of JMB and a native of Jamalpur in Bangladesh; Md Rafique alias Rubel alias Picchi, a resident of Jamalpur in Bangladesh and an IED specialist, Jahidul Sheikh alias Jafar alias Jabirul, Maulana Yousuf alias Bakkar alias Abu Khetab, a native of Mangalkot in Burdwan district of West Bengal, Shahidul alias Surjya alias Shamim, the JMB chief in Northeast and a native of Barpeta in Assam and Abdul Kalam alias Kalim, a resident of Bangladesh.
Garg, at a press conference, said, “Some two kgs explosives including white explosive powder which have been sent for testing, several mobile phones, a letter written in Bengali, bearing balls and wire cutters and batteries have been recovered from the accused.”
“A chemical compound book and a trade licence have been recovered from Rafique. A blueprint of JMB hierarchy has also been found from Inam,” he added.
The accused were on the NIA radar and one arrest led to the arrest of the rest of the accused.
“Some two days ago Jabirul was arrested by Kolkata STF in a fake currency note racket in Cachar district of south Assam. He was brought to Kolkata. After interrogation, it came to light that he was a JMB operative,” Garg added.
After credible information, Kalim was nabbed in New Coochbehar railway station while coming into West Bengal from Dhubri. STF claimed he crossed over from Bangladesh to West Bengal via Assam. He was sent to take care of JMB’s organisation in Cachar.
“From North 24 Parganas district, Inam and Rafique were nabbed near the Bongaon-Bagda road close to the border. Yousuf and Shahidul were nabbed from Natun Bazar in Basirhat in the same district,” he added.
Apart from making IEDs, Rafique also facilitated entry of JMB operatives from Bangladesh into India.
The STF chief claimed that the operatives used code language to stay in touch and their language was decoded.
The accused were produced in Bankshal court Monday and were given to police custody till October 9. They were later taken to Lalbazar, the Kolkata Police Headquarters for further interrogation.